18: Life Update

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This week episode is a Life Update episode. Every few weeks a take a break from talking about the class and instead turn the focus completely on how I’m building my business and using the tools from the course in my life.

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Hello and welcome to the podcast all about becoming a health coach. I'm Megan McCrory, a Health Coach in training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!

Each week I review what we’ve learned and how I’m applying those lessons in my life.

If this is your first time tuning in, I'm happy you've found the podcast and a very special welcome to you. You may want to go back and listen from the beginning to hear more about my health coaching journey.

I want to take a second to say thank you for those of you that have rated and posted a review of the show on Apple Podcasts. It means a lot to me that you took the time to do that!

Let’s dive into Episode 18

Every few weeks a take a break from talking about the class and instead turn the focus completely on how I’m building my business and using the tools from the course in my life. So this week it’s a Life Update episode.

Coaching

My last life update in Ep 12 aired just before we learned about the 6-month program. You may have noticed that also my release dates of the podcast took a big break over the summer. I started travelling a bit and my schedule went completely out the window. So this life update will cover quite a bit of time, 6 months almost!

First exciting update is that I have been coaching two clients. I casually mentioned this in the previous episode but now I’ll go into more detail. It feels really good to practice what I’m learning. I mentioned this in Ep. 17 that you can always keep learning but actually putting yourself out there to coach is a big step. One client is someone I met recently so I didn’t know much of her history. My second client is a friend for some years so I know more of her routine and life.

Let me tell you about what I’m learning from actually coaching. The most important and hardest thing I’m learning is how to be quiet. If you have been listening to the podcast for a while you know that I can talk, I love talking especially about topics I’m passionate about. So learning how to be quiet is not easy for me. One way I’m learning how to do this is to record my sessions. Both my clients have agreed to allow me to record every session. I do this so I can pay more attention to the conversation and not worry about taking so many notes. But I also listen back through the session to listen to myself. I find that I have a tendency to repeat my points more than necessary. I take the silence from the client as more room for me to talk. Really here I should make my point then be quiet and let them come back after absorbing. The other thing I’ve learned is that I sometimes jump in to further the conversation instead of just listening and letting the client have room to explore their thoughts. Joshua Rosenthal from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition always says you don’t need to do much in a session. Listening and asking high-mileage questions are pretty much it. You can’t know everything and you don’t need to know everything. 

I’ve had 12 sessions total between my 2 clients and over that time I know I’ve gotten better at just listening and waiting, allowing the space for them to talk about themselves. 

Another important lesson to learn when starting out, even though they tell you this in the school, is that you can’t do it for the clients. Meaning actions and changes need to come from the client and they need to take the action and responsibility to do it. On top of that you can’t take it personally when they don’t do it. You did not fail, they did not fail. Whatever it was just didn’t work well for that person at that time. So we try something else. I notice that I haven’t yet perfected the art of getting the client to come up with their own recommendations. I do make recommendations that are built on what the client says. This is the next thing I need to work on because when the client develops and decides on their own actions it’s more likely they will do it.

Along these same lines it’s been difficult to meet the client where they are. I tend to push a bit too much and I need to be very careful about that. Now before each session I take 10-15 minutes to meditate and focus on the client. I try not to prepare too much before the session. I will look for potential handouts that will reinforce what we talked about last time, I’ll listen to the last session or review the notes that I’ve written but other than that I try not to imagine where they are in their progress. 

I’ve been both pleasantly surprised and also disappointed during sessions. I need to work on my own reaction since my face doesn’t lie with my emotions. 

The last thing I want to tell you about in regards to coaching is learning to ask great questions. This is amazing and so practical in your everyday life too. The school provides a list of high-mileage questions and I review this list often but I’m finding that I’m getting good at coming up with them on fly now too. From my limited experience I think asking really good thought provoking questions and then being quiet are the two keys to being a great coach. These are the areas I will concentrate on improving. You can do this without any training or clients. The next time you have a conversation try to be completely present with the person, don’t think about what you want to say, listen, and when it’s right ask a great question to let the other person dive deeper into the topic. Try it and let me know how it works for you and how your conversations change with people. Send me an email at becomingahealthcoach@gmail.com or leave a comment on the show page at www.meganjmccrory.com.

Systems

I am actively using Practice Better to schedule my sessions, provide recommendations and session notes to my clients. I’m still using the free version since I only have 2 clients but I’m excited to move into the paid version when I’m ready to also host group online programs or self-directed programs, both can be done in the platform. 

I’m using Zoom for my calls and conferences, I will try Uberconference since I like the look of that platform better. 

I use Gmail for email. I want to graduate into G-suite so I can move away from a @gmail.com address since these can more frequently be sent to Spam. 

I use Mailchimp free version to send out my newsletters.

I use Canva for graphics, images, etc.

I’m Squarespace for the meganjmccrory.com site and to host this Podcast. 

Some links in the article may be affiliate links.


Marketing

Now for an update on what I’m learning in Marketing. The modules after test 3 start to give you more business building learning. In addition to what IIN is teaching I’m also researching online and reading a lot about what to do and how to do it. I notice that there are several things that everyone says you need to do in order to succeed in marketing and branding yourself.

  1. You need to know your audience. Who are you targeting, who is your ideal client? you need to make your ideal client avatar, give them a back story, what do they want, and most importantly, what do they fear? you have to be clear on who this person is and whenever you writing a blog post, film a video, or post a picture on instagram you should have that person in mind. if you don’t do this then your hard work might fall on deaf ears. what links do you click on? why did you click on it? if you are authentically talking to that one person your audience will find you!

  2. Marketing takes time - you can find ways to minimise the time by creating content that can be used across multiple platforms. The easiest thing i’ve found is to choose one thing like your facebook page or your website and let that be the center of your marketing universe. Everything you put on the other platforms, instagram, twitter, newsletters, etc. should always lead the person back to the center of your universe. If you use this strategy it’s easier to focus your content. Write one blog post then find a good image to post on instagram that relates to the blog post, find a great quote to post on Twitter, put a teaser to the blog post in your newsletter and lastly post on Facebook with a call to action. 

  3. Call to actions are things to get your audience to engage with you. An easy call to action is to ask them to comment on the blog post or click a link to get free a free handout related to the blog post. I’m just starting to use these and it works. I’ve had call to action in this podcast, I’ve asked you to email me and you did!!! It’s utterly amazing when I receive an email from one of you. I’m so touched that a, you’re listening to what I have to say and b, you were moved enough to take time to write me an email. I’m blown away. So keep those emails coming!

  4. The last thing is to get someone else to look at your stuff, a professional or someone in the industry longer than you. I had my sites briefly reviewed by Matt Rosenblum from Advanced Life Coach Marketing. He gave me some great advice that I will implement soon. I’m also keeping a list of sites that I love and seem to be really focused and user friendly. I may eventually hire a web designer to get the site where I want it to be then I’ll take over keeping up the information. I like to still have control over my stuff but I have limited time. I’m fine to pay someone to do the major construction. I also need some good headshots, all my pictures are of me sweating and red faced in front of some beautiful mountain landscape. It’s real, it’s me so i’m happy with those but I will make an effort to get some more professional photos, still of the real me but with a bit of intention. 

Struggles

So now I’d like to talk a bit about the struggles I’ve had, specifically with time. It’s been difficult enough trying to keep up with the course, having two clients, a full time job and a bit of social life. I love working the whole weekend on my coaching but I need some balance or I get a bit burned out. I have found a rhythm though. I take mini-breaks and mini-power sessions. I also know that I need to have complete focus and a clear goal plus a deadline to be most effective.I have dedicated a lot of time this year to the course work and to starting my business. From the beginning i wanted this podcast to be a weekly show so I could repeat what I was working on in order to imbed the program deeper in my brain. When I started having more trips my schedule went out the window, I even got really behind on the course material. With my focus being the course, i let the podcast slip as you can tell from the publish dates. 

What has kept me going is you, my listeners. I don’t have thousands but the listeners I do have I feel responsible to provide you a great podcast especially when you email me and tell me how the podcast has helped you finally decide to make the plunge and sign up for a health coaching course. Amazing!

I can’t promise that I’ll be able to get back on a weekly schedule but I’m trying. I’m all caught up on the modules but i’m so far behind with the podcast it seems like a big uphill. So while I’m getting back on track I’d like to make sure you know when I post a new podcast. If you’d like to be updated by email when a new episode goes live please send me an email to becomingahealthcoach@gmail.com with Podcast in the subject line, or you can click on the link in the show notes.

Thank you all for joining me today, this has been Megan McCrory and you’ve been listening to how I’m becoming a Health Coach. Until next time stay happy and healthy.

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