Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

WCA Founder, Fiona Cosgrove a Finalist in the Telstra Business Women's Awards


The Wellness Coaching Australia office has been buzzing for the last week after receiving the exciting news that our Managing Director, Fiona Cosgrove, has been named as a finalist in the 2014 Telstra Business Women's Awards, a national awards program recognising inspirational women in business.

Since founding Wellness Coaching Australia in 2006, Fiona has been at the forefront of this unique and exciting field that we work in; setting the pace for Wellness Coach training standards in Australia. This accolade recognises Fiona for her amazing achievements to date in our industry, where she continues to elevate awareness of the importance of our practice to key decision makers in the Australian health and fitness industry.

Send Your Message of Congratulations!

For many of you who have attended our training workshops, and had the pleasure in meeting and being trained by Fiona, we invite you to submit a message of support and congratulations to Fiona, where these special messages will be displayed on screen when Fiona collects her award at the end of this month.

You can submit your message through the link below prior to Friday September 26.

http://finalists.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com/event 

From all of us at Wellness Coaching Australia, we would like to thank you for choosing us as your Wellness Coach training partner. It is thanks to your support that special achievements like this are received and help to put our profession on the map!


Top 4 Business Essentials


Getting started in business is a big step that involves a whole new set of skills, knowledge and way of thinking, way beyond the service or product that you’re offering. 

And if you want to be successful in business, there are four things that are an essential part of your growth platform:

  1. A passion for/belief in what you do
  2. A clearly defined niche (your specialised market)
  3. A business plan 
  4. Systems and processes to deliver your targeted products/services to your niche.

Why passion? 
If you read my blog about being authentic in business, you’ll see that being truly passionate about what you do has a cascading effect in all areas of business. It builds trust in your customer, it proves you as a strong role model who leads by example, and it ensures your commitment and dedication to ongoing learning and client satisfaction (to name a few). 

What’s a niche?
A niche is a special part of the market that you occupy; an example of a ‘market’ is a toy shop.  A particular type of customer goes there – usually children.

A niche within the ‘toy shop; market is a shop that specialises in second-hand board games. A specific type of customer goes there, such as an older person who collects memorabilia.

Why is it important to define a niche?
Because you can more clearly define or identify:
  • the needs of your customer 
  • the messages and images that will attract that particular customer
  • where your market is (local, international, within specific clubs)
  • whether you can charge a ‘specialty’ price
You can also set yourself apart from competitors more easily by offering a unique service (by the way, ‘personalized service’ is not a niche).

Why plan?
This is ‘Coaching 101’. Achieving success starts with a vision (what you want and why) and a progressive series of SMART goals to get there.

Think about treating your business like you would treat a holiday.

Option 1: you could just suddenly pick up ‘go on holiday’ because it seems like an exciting idea, then you wander aimlessly about….or
Option 2: you could plan your holiday: work out a destination (your vision), figure out which season to go in, organise time off work/school, book a flight, pack the right clothes, find a dog-sitter and get a friend to collect the mail.

Which is going to work better for you?
Systems and Processes – what are they?!&
Imagine you are a standard size 12 in clothes, and you want to buy four of the same dress in different colours. 

When you try those dresses on, you want them to all to fit you, right?
 
How frustrating would it be if one dress was too small in the bust and another too broad in the shoulders!

How would you feel about that brand – would you want to buy it again? Would you recommend it to others? Would you trust it?

Systems and processes are simply standard ways of doing things. 

Just like the pattern for a dress, systems and processes offer a way of: 
  • creating consistency and accuracy in your business
  • training staff so they do things the same way/deliver a replicable product 
  • increasing your customers’ trust in you and your services/products
  • delivering value for money avoiding costly mistakes.
Some business owners have a good understanding of these aspects. 
But about 90% of businesses don’t have a business plan. If you need help getting started, our Business Mentoring service may be of assistance – contact us for more information.

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?

Tip #2: ACTIVELY LISTEN
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.

Tip #3: THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
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. 

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

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.

Inspiration or Coaching in social media?


Have you noticed the Facebook surge in ‘inspirational’ quotes and posts?  You know the ones, telling us we are strong, that we can do it, that abs are made in the kitchen or that guts and determination win every time. It’s certainly great to see these ‘feel good’ messages, but I have started to wonder how effective they really are. 

Can you actually remember any of the inspirational quotes you read on Facebook yesterday? Have they caused you to change your opinions or beliefs? The point is, while someone else can inspire you, it’s actually a good, thought-provoking question that gets you really engaged and thinking about change. 

People who post thought-provoking questions seem to get a stream of well-thought responses, ‘aha’ moments and alternative views. In comparison, people who post inspirational quotes tend to get more of the ‘this is cool’ or ‘I agree’ type of response – appreciation without any real depth.
If we want people to engage with us (and our Facebook pages), it’s clear that the writing is on the Facebook wall. 

Inspiration is great, but a good ‘coaching question’ is more powerful


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