Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

Is Will Power really like a Muscle?

There seem to be a lot of references to Willpower being like a "Muscle" - the more you use it, the stronger it gets, suggesting that all we need to do to change a habit is to get STRONG!  This is an appealing message to people who like a challenge and who like the idea of a "challenge" and "toughing it out".  But what about the rest of us who would prefer change to be easy, not requiring too much effort.  After all, we are busy people with responsibilities and commitments that take energy!

I don't believe the willpower is like a muscle.  And research backs me up.
Take the study that puts subjects into a situation where they had to resist a temptation. When they backed this up and asked for the same restraint from two groups, the group who had not previously had to exercise "willpower" fared much better! Simple explanation? We only have so much willpower and it gets used up!  It's exhausting using willpower.  Would we really break the Tim Tam habit by taking home a packet and sitting looking at it for 30 minutes without giving in to the temptation to eat them. Then the next night take home, perhaps two packets and resist them for maybe an hour?  I think not!  There would be some serious chocolate biscuit consumption in my house if I tried it.

To replace a habit, we have to identify the cue that precedes the routine (that we want to change) and also recognise the reward we get. We then have to find a new routine that we can put in place when the cue arises and hope it results in a similar reward.

Example:  We feel sluggish in the afternoon.  We reach for the snacks to help us get a bit more energy. We feel momentarily energised. New routine - instead of reaching for the snacks we go for a light run.  We come back. We feel energised.  Eventually we like the feeling of energy that we get from a run, more than the slight lift from eating junk.  We start to crave the feeling that the run results in.  New habit starts to form.  

Sound easy?  It isn't.  But it is a better approach than doing Willpower Workouts!

The Importance of Authentic Business

Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, first screened in 1895, is a farcical comedy about maintaining fictitious peronae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Fast forward to 2013 in your business, and let’s consider the importance of your business persona – the face you present to your customer. 

Let’s face it – your persona is the thing that dictates whether your business sells, or smells. How many times have you bought a widget, or a service, and been put off by a disinterested service person or salesperson who is most obviously resenting your presence and, is irritated that you would interrupt their crossword?

Or have you ever seen right through that service person’s ‘interest’ in your problem, realising that they’re really only ‘interested’ in your money?

Unfortunately, these things happen all too often. Why would a business owner or staff member behave like this?
  • they don’t want to be there
  • they’re overworked
  • they hate the job
  • the job is a ‘filler’ until something better comes up
  • they are driven by money above all else.
You can see the pattern. The persona might need an attitude check in order to retain happy customers! 

The magic ingredients that create this switch are PASSION AND AUTHENTICITY. 
Passion is loving what you do; living and breathing it; knowing it inside out. Authenticity encompasses truthfulness (honesty), sincerity and openness. Genuine passion for your business gives you authenticity by default – it’s obvious that you believe in what you’re doing and it’s value. 

An authentic business persona offers great benefits for your customers.  They will: 
  • be drawn to your passion 
  • tell others about your knowledge and enthusiasm
  • feel that you’re genuinely interested in them
  • feel that you understand their need/problem 
  • trust you – therefore be more likely to buy from you
  • feel that your value and ethics match theirs. 
In other words, an authentic persona becomes a client-magnet. There are also clear links to Martin Seligman’s five elements of well being (PERMA): 
  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement
  • Positive relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment
Your passion drives inspiration and aspiration. You are a role-model; a living, breathing advocate of your craft. Your skill, confidence and belief in your product is real – tangible. You love helping people and building relationships with people who share your beliefs and convictions. Clients trust your genuine passion. Trust builds rapport. 

Your meaning and values are loud and clear – right there on your face and the face of your business.

The Importance of Being Earnest is about being the person you want to attract, then engaging those you attract in a way that is mutually meaningful and ‘profitable’. 

Top Three Tips for Building a Successful Wellness Coaching Business

If you've ever started a new business venture, you’re probably familiar with the rush of excitement and anticipation to get your great idea out there. You simply can’t WAIT to do this amazing thing that you've dreamed up, it’s such an amazing opportunity!

A business typically starts in one of two ways:
  • Your idea for a nifty product/service, which you then try to sell, OR, 
  • You identify a need in the market, then develop a product/service to meet the need.  
With your passion and huge investment of time and money, you would think that success is guaranteed! However, the statistics that are bandied about tell a different story: 
  1. 95% of new businesses fail in their first year of operation 
  2. Of the 5% who make it through the first year, 95% fail within their first five years.  
There are a variety of reasons behind business failures including fear of failure or success, problems with time management, delegation and/or monitoring.  

Yet the most important reasons are a lack of vision and planning. A vision says why you are in business – it is your business ethos.Planning helps you work out exactly: 
  1. what you’re selling 
  2. to whom 
  3. where you sell 
  4. how you sell 
  5. which systems and outside experts will help you run your business.
With all this in mind, how can a wellness coach start out on the right foot in business? 
These top three tips may help you define a clear vision of what you want, and some key concepts to start your business plan.

Tip #1: ASK
Discover your business vision - ask yourself why you want to do this.  
What is your greatest passion and what will it bring to your life? 
If you could describe your ideal working day, what would it look like?

Here’s your chance to put your number one coaching skill into practice – ACTIVELY LISTEN – and you will discover a variety of ways to introduce wellness coaching into your new or existing business. 
Pay attention to the conversations with your potential or actual customers. 

What do they ask when they phone up to enquire about your services? What are they complaining about?  What do they need? What frustrates them? What clues can you pick up in their conversation? What are they struggling with? 

And then, most importantly, how does your proposed service solve their problems?
HINT: If you really understand your clients, you will already be able to answer most of these questions.

Is there another way to think of this? 
Brainstorming and mind mapping can help you discover different ways of packaging and delivering your services and products. Then, you can distil your brainstorm into a few realistic, fantastic ideas which you can go on to “reality-check”.

If you’re working on your own, you can expand your ideas and think about different options with the help of a friend, colleague or business coach.

Wellness Coaching Australia offers Business Mentoring services for graduate Wellness Coaches who want help to get started in business. Click here to enquire. 

What is a Health Coach, a Life Coach and a Wellness Coach?

These are terms we hear all the time and that often get used interchangeably much to the confusion of the consumer who often just wants some help.  Let's see where the similarities lie and where the differences exist.


Coaching is based on a a conversational style that follows certain principles and uses skills that encourage the client to explore their world and come up with ideas for creating positive change!

Coaching is not about providing the answer, taking on responsibility for the client's issues - patronising or advising. Good coaches empower people to believe they have what it takes to succeed. They are humble, intuitive and passionate about their work. The models that are used are very similar in all three modalities. We first find out where the change is needed, why it is important to the person, help them explore what's stopping them from succeeding, brainstorm possible strategies to overcome these obstacles and together design a plan to move forward.  

Sound simple? So why the different titles?


Health Coaches
Let's start with health coaching. Health coaches come from various backgrounds but all ideally have a qualification in an allied health professional field. They may be nurses, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists, deititians, osteopaths, naturopaths or other health related occupation. They work with people to help them overcome sometimes chronic conditions that have sometimes resulted from lifestyle choices. But not always. Anyone needs help managing an illness or condition that will move them closer to the baseline of health could benefit from a health coach. The role is one of support and the professional knowledge of the coach will often be brought into play. They can be found in many places, but usually medical settings or in corporate environments where people at risk have been identified.  Health Coach training has usually complemented their existing qualifications.

It is important to note that health coaches and wellness coaches use the same skills and principles and the term is simply to let the public know they have additional training in a specific health field.  However, health professionals may well choose to use the term “wellness coach" to describe their services.

Wellness Coaches

Are a new breed of professionals. Just like positive psychology has grown out of a need to help people become happier, not just deal with mental disorders, wellness coaches work with people who may already be at a good point in their lives in some areas, but wish to reach their potential in some way that has yet to be satisfied. "Wellness" is about optimal well being and although it covers all four elements of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, coaches very often start with the physical which can open the door to better wellness in all other areas.

However, as the demands and complexity  of daily life increase, wellness coaches often find themselves supporting clients in overcoming barriers to change that relate to personal organisation, time management or a multiple of stress related causes. 

Life Coaches
Come from many walks of life. They support people to help them work towards un-achieved goals in all areas of life. It may be career, finance, relationship or any other aspect of their life that they do not feel fulfilled in. Life Coach training is specific to this more generalised approach, however, good coaches have a depth of experience in their personal and professional lives that they will bring to the coach relationship.

If change was easy, we'd all be thin, rich and successful

If you read our recent post, Barriers to Change, you’ll know that knowing WHY changes are important to you is an essential starting point….but then, how do you manage the rush of fears and obstacles when considering HOW to change?

If change was easy, we’d all be thin, rich and successful!  In reality, change can be difficult because we’re creatures of habit.  We we value the safety and security of what we know, even if it is dysfunctional. 

HOW can we change? Change involves thinking or acting differently.  It starts with knowing what needs to change, which involves:

1. identifying things that no longer serve you
2. discovering things that will be useful and beneficial
3. defining which aspects you have the power to change
4. accepting or thinking differently about the things you can’t change.

As Albert Einstein said: 
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
In reality, we all have the power to change many things in our lives. The degree of difficulty in making change might relate to your values, strengths, motivation and courage.  

When considering change, the easiest option is to do nothing, which is safe and familiar……..but gives you the same outcome!  

The hardest option is going out on a limb and upsetting the apple cart, throwing out everything and starting again.

Somewhere in the middle lies your truth.  

There are so many aspects of making change, and these aspects vary from person to person, depending on where they are in life. 

A coach’s job is not to tell you what to change, or even how to change.  Rather, they guide you through the process of change by helping you to be self-aware, set realistic goals, manage your own expectations and to find the courage to take action – on your own terms, in your own time.

Why wellness coaching is perfect for the corporate market

Bringing wellness services to employees to improve their quality of life, can make businesses better places to work and ensures wellness coaches with business success and a lifestyle they deserve.

We are too often seeing the devastating effects of illness, and stress every day in workplaces, and we know that we cannot fight this battle alone. People are breaking down and wellness programs need to become part of the company strategy and how they operate. We understand that health and wellbeing can sometimes be considered a 'softer' area of business, however, the cost of poor health can really add up.

The benefits of a corporate wellness program is that it teaches people to be healthy and well – and in turn it will help them run better lives and better businesses. Here are some reasons you can take to corporates on why a wellness program is perfect for them.

1. Executive programs
Executive programs are the most effective support for people who require behavioural and lifestyle changes that support sustained high performance and productivity. Wellness coaches can review workplace and lifestyle practices, and develop individual wellness solutions for CEOs, senior leaders and managers. Programs can support frequent travellers, injured, burnt out, and overwhelmed executives who require individual support and guidance. It can provide them with practical and useful tools for sustaining a balanced and calm work and home life. 

2. Group coaching for team collaboration
Team work is difficult as teams bring people together who have differences in opinions, skills, education, work standards, gender, family history, beliefs, attitudes, drive and ambition. An increase in vision and communication can improve the productivity and effectiveness of the team environment. The breakthrough challenges cut through the differences within the team and connect people by providing a common language in which to communicate, and common work goals to strive for.  

3. Increases staffs’ performance
Talent is critical for business and an individuals’ impact flows on to business.  Productivity loss due to physical inactivity equates to 1.8 working days per worker per year. (Medibank Private, 2008). Workplaces benefit from more active and engaged employees, who represent a healthy brand image. Transforming employee perception of work as a site of stress to a site of support boosts not only morale, but cultivates an environment in which employees are more energized, enthusiastic and dedicated to their work.

4. Decreases staff absenteeism and turnover
Poor health can cost the company money. Workplaces benefit from less absenteeism due to illness, injury, and stress, and provide proactive solutions to the rising cost of stress related workers' compensation claims. Employees can be rehabilitated from injury, have obstacles and barriers to exercise removed, and benefit from the increased function of their bodies. Studies indicate that there is a 20-25% improvement in staff turnover in companies that introduce a workplace wellness program (Price Waterhouse Coopers, 2008). 

There is a clear link between a healthy workforce, a healthy workplace and improved staff productivity. However, to really get a company interested, the key is to describe the difference between an unhealthy and a healthy employee, in terms of their job performance. You want to focus on ‘return on investment’ not on price. You want to get them thinking, “for what I’m going to spend, how much money am I going to make, or save, as a result of introducing this wellness program”. 

At the end of the day, companies want an outcome – just focus on the benefit they’ll receive: how will this make them money or save them money and they will see why wellness coaching is perfect for their business.

About Angela Egan

Angela Egan is the Founder of Crack Into Corporate, a corporate adviser to professionals in the wellness industry and a HR strategist. She is also the Founder and Managing Director of Vie Wellness, a consultancy that helps companies build sustainable, high performing cultures. Alongside her work with corporates, Angela has toured nationally and spoken to hundreds of wellness practitioners about how they can earn a higher income, leverage their time and make a wider impact by providing wellness programs to corporates. Angela also works with a small number of wellness practitioners each year who want a hand to attract corporate clients. 

For more information about Angela Egan and her businesses visit www.crackintocorporate.com.au and www.viewellness.com.au.

Words Really Can Change our World

I love words. I am attracted to other people who love words.  I think that a world without words would be a sad, boring world indeed.  Not everyone shares my passion.  Some people communicate with physical acts, gestures and other body language signals so that we feel connected to them and understand who they are.  But is so much easier to truly express a feeling by finding, just the right word.

When we work with people, or support others going through challenging, exciting or difficult times, helping them express a feeling can be a really great thing to do.  Many times, I have been in the company of someone who really wants change, but they are not sure what that change is.  They may have an idea of wanting to do something in a different way, but unless they can tap into why they want that change in behaviour, they rarely get excited and it is often associated with a "should".  They may say, "I should get up early in the morning and walk before work".  Always accompanied by a slouching of shoulders and downward express of the mouth - or a frown.  If they change it to "I want to get up early in the morning and walk…" this is accompanied by a somewhat different body language.  You'll see shoulders lift and facial expression much more neutral - perhaps even determined.  But if they can actually voice why they want to get up early in the morning and walk.  Ah, then we see a difference.  "I want to get up early in the morning and walk.. so that.. " and this is followed by what's really behind it.  It could be, "so that.. I can lose weight".. hmm maybe a positive thought.  But we find that sentences like, "so that… I can start my day with a sense of purpose and achievement and feel more in control of my life". Now we're talking about some very different body language!

Words do create our world. Saying something and not meaning it doesn't count.  But finding the right word to describe our reason for doing something is a very different story and it can turn the idea of something from being onerous to being a means to an end with the end being the shining light that pushes us to action and changes our view of the issue.

As friends, colleagues, coaches, we can help the people around us by using words as a way of creating a picture that can inspire, reflect true feelings and deepen our friendship if we truly listen to what is behind the dialogue.

Which Business Personality are you?

Know Your Business Personality, Know Your Strengths
The decision to start a new business presents an exciting opportunity to do something you absolutely love. 

A common scenario is when a skilled ‘technician’ leaves their paid employment to start out in their own business, either alone or with a partner/s. If that technician runs a business on their own, they go from the single role of being a technician to working in a much greater capacity.

If you know your strengths, passion and purpose, you can plan the operation of your business so that you do what you love most and outsource the rest.  Then, your business will run efficiently, effectively and profitably. 

So, what are your strengths in a business sense? 
There are three major roles in a business and they have strong relationships with personality traits and therefore, strengths.  While most people are a mix of all three ‘personalities’, one or two are typically stronger or dominant.

Which business personality are you?

1. “The Manager”
You’re a highly organised person who loves planning and actioning goals and tasks. You can think fairly high level (strategically) but in enough detail to work out how to put strategy into action. You love to systemise ways of doing things for greater efficiency. You may enjoy working with people (either clients or staff) in a mentoring capacity, preferably in smaller groups, empowering them to be their best. You’d do well at overseeing the day-to-day running of the business, business planning, monitoring success and meeting targets.

2. “The Entrepreneur” 
You’re an ‘ideas’ person who loves to initiate a concept, tell everyone about it and talk it up at social gatherings and networking functions. You love a crowd, and an audience!
You’re a big picture person who hates detail and finicky tasks. You’d rather leave that stuff to someone else!

Your ideas may be right up there in the clouds but you manage to convince everyone of how great they are, with your obvious enthusiasm and passion. 
Often, this personality type is very innovative.

3. “The Technician”
Most of us start our working life this way – employed to do a specific ‘job’ like studying koalas, being a dentist or offering personal training services. 

You’re the ‘work’ person who trains in a specific area to eventually become an expert or specialist in a particular service/product. A true technician is the type of person you might call a “geek” or “nerd” – obsessed by the science of something. Technicians generally love research, detail, analysis, and solving problems. They tend to be more introverted than the other types.

Whether you’re setting up a Sole Trader business or a Company with a few business partners, it’s important that you define up-front: 

  1. Your strengths and which roles you could realistically take on 
  2. Which roles will be delegated to others (business partners or staff, if relevant) 
  3. Which roles you will outsource to third party experts (e.g. book keepers, marketing consultants, administrative support, business coaches)
  4. Which roles may remain vacant and require recruitment later on.

To find out more about your business personality to optimise business success, Contact Us

Living the Good Life

I have recently been challenged to look closely at the work I am so passionate about - namely helping people learn to coach others to improved well being.  I have always been of the belief that this is indeed if not "noble" work, at the very least, valuable and significant in contributing to a better world. Where more people are living a lifestyle that helps them thrive and gain greater life satisfaction.

Then along comes the challenge, in the form of one of my favourite sociologists, Hugh McKay with his latest book "The Good Life". The book addresses what exactly constitutes a "good life" and McKay quite clearly states his belief that the, shall we say "value" of our life, can only really be judged by the quality of our interactions with others.  In other words, instead of being focused on our own happiness, well being or energy levels, we ideally would focus on giving back, being part of a community and treating people in the way we wish to be treated. 

"Oh dear", I think to myself.  "Where does optimal energy levels, good physical health and the occasional burst of joy fit here?  Suddenly I felt, if not diminished, challenged to work out how my work fit into this bigger, altruistic picture.

But of course, as always, I have put this latest viewpoint into the melting pot of ideas I have of my own and find that they are complementary in the following way.

Hugh MacKay advocates caring for others as being more important than personal achievement.  If the two were to be measured, I would agree. The latter cannot be rewarded or applauded if it is at the expense of the former.  He believes that society has fallen into the trap of striving for constant happiness and the achievement of personal goals with no room for acceptance of the fact that life is hard, often throws unexpected sadness, tragedy or misfortune at us and without the negative emotions of grief, disappointment or frustration, we would not be able to recognise.  But more important than any of that is the need to live and work together as a community and if we can live according to those values, the world will indeed benefit.  

So coaching people to better wellness?  How does that fit in?  Is it a selfish aim or does it fit with a "Good Life".  I like to think that coaching is all about supporting others.  And if the people we support make lifestyle changes that reduce their chance of chronic illness, surely this also helps our community?

There are many other reasons why I think this growing profession has value.  Those are just two of them that suggest we contribute to people living "A Good Life".  Hope Hugh agrees with me.

The secret of successful business

Coming from a ‘traditional’ business background, I was taught all the tips and tricks to selling, marketing, beating competitors and selling the benefits of our services/products. 

For example, let’s say a customer calls up to enquire about your services.  In traditional business, you have probably been taught to:
  • a/ tell them all the amazing features and benefits of your service, or 
  • b/ get them to meet you for coffee so you can discuss options – and don’t tell them your prices over the phone, or even 
  • c/ get them talking about themselves for the first ten minutes to ‘build their trust’ so they’ll be more open to your spiel.
This approach to business has been developed by experts over so many years – it’s proven to work – so it must be the right thing to do! Yet if that’s true, then why do I feel so uncomfortable – squeamish - about cold-calling, selling or going head-to-head with another business to compete for a customer?

I attended numerous seminars that espouse these approaches, but for me, something feels wrong! What was it? 

After some thought, I realised that selling features and benefits seems to be ‘all about me’ – not ‘all about the client’. And anything involving hiding prices or requiring ‘approaches to building trust’ feels surreptitious and/or manipulative to me.  It was only after becoming a coach that I realised there was another, better way to be successful in business. 

So what IS that alternative?
The secret is using coaching as your way of doing business. For this approach to be successful, it requires that you, as a person, live and breathe the principles of positivity that are used in coaching – gratitude, authenticity, belief, joy…..

If you are passionate about what you do, you’ll probably do it really well, and with gusto and joy. You will appreciate and understand your clients’ challenges, and relate to them. You will have genuine empathy. You will feel genuine gratitude when your customer is happy. 
If you believe in what you are doing, you’ll be innovative, will lead by example, and will attract the very people who really need your help. 

In other words, it starts with finding your true passion in life.  

Jacob M. Held’s Dr. Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! sums it up beautifully:
In many societies, “…One’s essential life activity becomes simply a means for life, a way of earning money so one can buy the necessities and maybe a few toys, not an expression of one’s individuality.” 
However, “…how one lives her life should be consistent with her essence as a free, productive being. Her labour, her productive activity, should be a free expression of her own consciously chosen life.” 
If we had the power to choose our passion, imagine how different we could run our businesses – from the heart.

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