To niche or not to niche
Christine: Alright everyone! Welcome to this episode and we're going to talk about 'to niche or not to niche', which is an interesting topic, because Kendra and I have two very different businesses. One of us is very niche and one of us is less niche. So we're going to talk about exactly what our experiences have been and what we would tell a friend of ours, if they were interested in our opinion.
Kendra: I hope everyone is interested in our opinion and I think this is a really, really great topic, because I think when you're starting a business, it's overwhelming. You're like, I need to get clients, I need to make money, but everyone's telling you that you need to focus and you need to niche down. You need to be more specific with whom you're talking to and I think that can feel a bit overwhelming. You might be afraid to turn people away and maybe you just don't even know who you want to be talking to.
Christine: Yes, most courses are very general too, so unless you know exactly what you focus on, you're going to take a general view or most of us have a general background in health and then suddenly, it's just what we find most interesting or what we think is the most popular and you might be wrong. So, I think the biggest permission we can give you, is to give you permission to change whenever you want. However, do not hire the 1'000 $/ hour copywriter right away. Give it a little bit of time. Don't pay a 10,000 $ website straight from the bat. Go with something a little bit more simple, so that when you change, it's not quite as painful. Give it about six months or so and work with a certain number of clients.
Kendra: It's not a death sentence. You are not choosing this niche and now this is the course of your business for the next 20 years. You can change, you can try things out, if you see that things don't work out, try something else. You can get a website up for very little money. One of the best advice I got from a coach, when I first started out, was just to get it out there. Don't invest much money in it. Get it out there, see if it works. You don't need a very complex or crazy looking website to be successful. You can have something very basic that does very well for you.
Christine: Absolutely. I know business owners who have one page. They literally have one button on their website. No menu, just an image and one button and that's it. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone straight away. It depends on how you market yourself.
It depends if you have a brick and mortar or whether you want to reach out to the digital world; simply because, if you're local it would make a big difference whether you are totally niched or whether you are having a more general clinic.
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Kendra: I live in a town of 10,000. If I was going to have a strictly local business, my decision on if I am going to niche or focus in, is going to look a little bit different vs. if I lived in a city with a few million people vs. being in the online world, which is a billion or more people.
In a town of 10,000 I can probably get away with having something more general, maybe running a general health clinic or just having one kind of general focus vs. being online, which is going to be a lot harder to market.
Christine: Yeah, absolutely. Even though I always say people would drive miles and miles for someone, who's really good at what they do; until you get there, it would be pretty risky to just focus on thyroid, but that is actually very general that it might work, but let's say toe fungus. That might not be the best idea in the world, but who knows, you might be able to make it.
Kendra: You could make toe fungus work online.
Christine: Right. So that's definitely one of the things to consider. Brick and mortar vs. online or whether they want to have another leg in the online world and still have your brick and mortar, which I see a lot of medical doctors do. They have their practice and they are also having tele-medicine, which I find is very, very cool.
Now, let's talk a little bit about the pros of niching. Let's say you decide to work digitally or you live in a really big city or area with a lot of people; it's obviously a lot easier to market yourself. The language you use is easier and you focus on one certain person that you're talking to. My niche is sleep and I focus on people that can't sleep, but I also have people who don't sleep enough. So you could say I have two categories. Two loops. That's it. I have the group that wants to sleep but can't and I have the group, who is not getting enough sleep, yet is not quite aware of it. So that's it for me. It is very, very limited and easier for me to write my copy. That is the text on my website. It's easier for me to pitch media. It's easier for media to find me through Google search if they look for sleep experts for adults. I'm number one on Google! So it's pretty cool. It has a lot of advantages that way. On the other hand, obviously you're limiting yourself. You might have people not contact you, because they don't realize that you can help them.
Kendra: I think that's probably the biggest fear with niching. I know that's how I felt when I first started. I didn't want to get too specific, because I was worried about turning people away and as a new business owner that is the last thing you want to do. That makes your heart break in two. You don't want to turn people away. You want clients. I have a much more general niche and I never really got super specific. I started out with female hormone imbalance and ultimately when you talk about hormones, you end up talking about the gut. So then, I naturally started talking about the gut. Then my interest took me towards detox and minerals. So I actually have three different types of people who contact me. I have women with severe hormonal conditions, I have people with chronic GI issues, which actually end up being a lot of men, which is funny, because I don't actually market to men and then I get people with fatigue, who want to detox, who want to bounce the minerals.
In the end, what's interesting is, I kind of do the same thing with everyone, but it's just different ways of talking to people. Everyone needs to be on a healthy diet. We are FEM and we run lab tests. I run pretty much the same lab tests with everyone. It's just all about who I'm talking to in that copy and sometimes, depending on what I want to do, I have to write different types of copy. I launched the hormone course last year, so I had to be really specific with the hormone niche and then I had a gut program. So I think it's maybe a bit more complicated for me, because I have to have a few different ways of talking to people vs. for you it's pretty straightforward.
Christine: Absolutely, I agree. I find it funny as well that we both primarily market to women, my branding colors are pink and gold, yet we both have a lot of men contacting us. That's another thing that we discussed, you don't always know what you think, you know. You might think you know exactly who is suffering from the problem that you are offering a solution to, but that's not necessarily true. When I talk to people about ideas, how I can really branch out, people always tell me that I have to talk to CEOs or to upper management. The thing is those people don't have time; they don't care a lot of the time, because they are so busy making money, which I get, that they don't care whether they don't get enough sleep and maybe they are aware that it's bad for them, but they're going to do it anyway. Does are not my peeps, that's not my crowd.
So sometimes you think you know, but you actually don't. You have to sort of stay general or my advice would be to have your niche, but still chose to stay a little bit general in the beginning, before you completely narrow yourself down and we talked about this before.
I talked to facebook ads expert Amanda Bond. She's amazing and the way she runs a facebook ad is very counterintuitive. Usually you're told that you have to market towards your avatar, which is your ideal client and have your facebook ad be as specific as possible. The way she does it, she starts really, really broadly and let's facebook do its thing. Facebook is going to find out who likes your stuff, because they're going to click, they're going to interact and then it narrows the audience down and it might be something completely different than what you thought in the beginning and I loved that. Very often we are pushed to have this really specific idea in mind and sometimes we don't know.
I got to really know who to talk to when I started to work with people and I suddenly saw what all of these people had in common. In a way you only get that with experience and maybe the people that you thought you wanted to work with are actually not at all the crowd that you jive with.
I started as a baby sleep consultant and it turns out that I'm not the perfect fit for sleep deprived parents,. They are not the perfect fit for me and I am not for them. It worked, but it was super stressful for me.
Kendra: And I believe, you don't have to have it all figured out right away. If you have something in mind and you're really committed and this is what you want to do, that's awesome. But if you're not one of those people, that's okay. You can still take the time to let it pan out naturally or organically. It is really interesting about the facebook ads experts. It's definitely the opposite I've ever learned when it comes to facebook ads, but it makes sense. Facebook knows what they're doing and maybe just based on that you can actually see where that goes and where that leads. It's true, sometimes what you think, you know is actually not what you know and maybe the person you're marketing to and you think is going to relate to your program, service or course, may actually not be in the group that wants to buy.
Christine: Exactly. My mind was blown away. I am happy to report that Amanda has agreed to be on our podcast.
Kendra: That is amazing!! I'm super excited. I love talking about facebook ads.
Christine: It is going to be super geeky! I love it. Now the other thing that we talked about is, sometimes you know exactly what it is you're talking about, but your audience doesn't. So for me sleep is sleep, but for Kendra, for example, hormones are not as obvious.
Kendra: Yeah... When you're in the industry, when you are health coaches like us, it's obvious. You understand female hormone imbalance. A lot of people however, may not actually realize they have a hormone imbalance. They will say that their hormones are fine, but that they have PMS. Then you have to explain to them that that's a hormone imbalance. So sometimes you have to be careful, because the same goes for something like inflammation.
Sometimes you have to teach people, they have inflammation, they might know they have pain, but they don't actually know that that is actually inflammation. So if you are nicheing or branding towards a health condition, you might actually have to spend time educating people on conditions they might have, because it's not obvious for everyone else, who doesn't have the same training we do. I also work a lot with fatigue and I don't have to teach people about fatigue. They know they're tired, they know they're exhausted. I can say exhausted, tired, rundown and people know exactly what that is vs. female hormone imbalance. People may not actually know that that's what they have.
Christine: Exactly and when you start to get your message honed down, my biggest advice is to write the way you speak. Don't use code languages, like I'm helping you to empower, to get optimal health or the next level....
Kendra: Take your health to the next level! What does that mean???
Christine: How are you taking her health to the next level? Or are you standing in your light today? NO!! Who says that? Nobody. Write the way you would to a friend. The other thing is an example that you gave in a prior conversation and that is people are not aware very often.
Kendra: Yeah, I was talking about Dr. Alan Weinstein and I believe, he created the bowflex workout machine. He did this big commercial campaign and they did a bunch of surveys on people, who were all severely overweight or obese. One of the questions was, if they think they were healthy and they all said yes! We would not look at overweight or obese people and think they were healthy. We'd rather say, these people have to work on their health; they have so much work to do. I think because in our system, you are either healthy or you have a disease and you are sick. So there's all that in between that people just think in absence of symptoms or just being able to get up and feed yourself and walked through the day is healthy. Sometimes, we have to actually educate people that there's something wrong with them. So you can't just say let's get healthy, take your health to the next level, achieve optimal health. What does that even mean? If people who are sick already think they're healthy, then you're not even speaking to anyone.
Christine: Exactly. So the most, I would take is, if you wake up in the morning and you're tired, guess what? You're not sleeping enough. And sometimes I hear 'oh, what do you mean? I slept 2 hours and I'm fine.' Well, are you a superhuman? Do you wake up naturally? No.
Kendra: I've had women who have PCOS endometriosis and tell me that they think there's something wrong with their hormones. You're like, yeah, duh, but people just don't know this. So you have to talk to people where they're at, which is probably really, really basic information or very minimal education in what they have going on with them.
Christine: With tons of love and sometimes you think you say the same thing a gazillion times. Whenever I say the word cortisol, I just wait for someone to punch me, because they've heard it so many times, but for them it's actually new; I just said it a gazillion times.
Kendra: I feel like the broken record with copper toxicity. Sometime I wonder if someone's going to be like, stop talking about copper toxicity!! But it hasn't happened yet.
Christine: I know. Cortisol for me!
This is a tricky one. On one hand I think I would in general advise you to go with your name rather than an idea. For me it's a little bit different, because Sleep like a Boss is just an absolutely awesome name for a business.
When you do branding, people are going to drill you down on getting your elevator pitch. This means you have your sentence, when somebody asks you what do you do?, you're going to say, 'I help X, Y, Z, target audience. So people who don't sleep to transform their sleep, so that they can be happy and healthy forever. For me, I usually say, my business is called Sleep like a Boss. That's it! Then they asked me, how do you do that? Which is awesome, because they are curious, which is amazing.
But in general it doesn't work that way. I think it's always great if you have your name; especially if you change your niche. Let's say if you were ‘Hormone Queen Three Thousand’ and then suddenly you would just work with thyroid or with toe fungus, it would be very difficult to change.
Kendra: Yes, I think it is easier to use your name. Originally, when I started blogging, I was Crazy, Happy, Healthy. I had that blog for about five or six years and it was just like a hobby blog and I talked about everything. I didn't have any specific thing. I just talked about this and that and everything, but it was also a long time ago, where you could actually do that. It was a pretty successful blog. Having no focus and no specific thing I was talking about. But once I realized I wanted to monetize and make money out of having this career in the health industry, I realized that I needed to figure out who I was actually talking to and I tried to think of ways to turn that Crazy Happy, Healthy into something that made money.
In the end I had articles on 50 different topics and it didn't make sense. So I went to Kendraperry.net. Obviously when you hear Kendraperry.net, a lot of people don't know who I am. It doesn't mean anything. So I have to work hard on an elevator pitch. But if I do decide to change my focus, which I have, a few different times, it's really easy to do.
Christine: I agree and just google wise, it is super easy to do. The thing that you can do, is you have a site tagline. In wordpress, I think it's under reading or general, you should always enter, what it is that you do and you can get very specific. I change it every now and then; whenever I have something smarter coming into my head, I would change it. Right now it's sleep expert and coach for adults. That is great for SEO and for making clear what I do and I always say holistic bespoke programs, I think. Try to cram as much info as you can into that little descriptive space. It's super, super helpful.
Kendra: Yeah and that's the SEO, the search engine optimization, which helps people find you.
Christine: So the last point that we have is whether you want to focus on something that you've personally struggled with or not. Again, Kendra and I are very different. I have never had insomnia. I started freaking out about sleep when I was pregnant with my little one, because I ADORE sleep. I was highly pregnant and in Luxembourg, we have an eight weeks maternity leave before the baby comes, so I had the best time in my life! Sleeping in every morning, getting massages. Having having all that was amazing. I had a great pregnancy, so I had nothing to worry about. It was great! Yet, one morning when I was just stretching out, waking up naturally, it dawned on me: this is never going to happen again!
That's how this all started. But it's surely not as tragic as someone, who's not been sleeping for ages. That did not get in the way of me becoming very successful with what I do though. It's just to say that you don't necessarily need to have your own hero's journey in what you do, it can obviously help you. It's a lot easier with your copy, but you don't have to have a focus on it.
Kendra: I think you can go either way. It definitely helps and a lot of people do end up teaching in an area they’ve personally struggled, just because they have a really intimate connection to it.
I had crazy hormone issues, gut issues, issues with detox fatigue. It's insane! So it's really easy for me to talk about these things and understand what people are going through. It is also easier for me to write copy, because I've been there. I know how it feels! I've experienced all those emotions and all that crap.
You can still be successful. Maybe you struggled with fatigue, but you're just sick of it. You don't want to talk about fatigue anymore. You've been dealing with fatigue for 10 years and don't want to focus on that. That's cool. You can focus on something that you're just interested in examining and learning. However, I think if you do have a really amazing personal story, say you've reversedall your autoimmune condition, you should use that regardless.
Christine: Again, literally what you don't want to talk about, that's what you should talk about. That's what people are going to be interested in. Having said that though, I now use the words that I learned from my clients.
My clients confide in me. They don't find anyone who's listening to them, who really understands them and they explain that to me. It's a private space, but I use their ideas and I tell it to people from that point of view. So instead of saying I didn't find someone I could talk to about this, because I didn't think it was a real problem or I was just a wuse; I would say I had a client who told me that. So that works as well. It's just different, but totally valid.
Kendra: And I think it's important. A coach told me that every time people ask you questions or share something with you, write it down. Put it on a post it and you can use that later. You can use it for Q & A, a live stream or you can use their words for your copy, because I think when it comes to nicheing and speaking to people, you really need to make it about them. Don't make it about you.
I see that in a lot of new business owners. Their website is all about them and 'oh, I did this and I can help with this and blah blah blah'. But really you should vary. It should be all about the person who's coming to the website. They're there to help themselves. So you need to talk to them.
Christine: Exactly. So even on your about page, and we're going to do a complete episode on that, it's not about you!
Alright, beautiful people. That's it for us today. We're going to be on again in two weeks on the 29th and we will have a guest with us, so stay tuned for that. You will see us and hear us with new episodes every two weeks. If you want to support our mission of bring business tips to people into health coach or health business industry and also continuous education, then you can become a patron of our show. You can go to our website and click the big red button at the bottom of the page. We also have a free gift for you, which you can also get on the same page.
Kendra: Yes, we have a really great tool kit. It's basically every single tool that we've used to grow successful businesses that pretty much, if you're not using, you're making your life harder. Having an online business is complex and there are so many things you need. So we've really broken down the best things for email marketing, video, etc... everything is in this toolkit. So check that out, it's free!
What to do when your client get stuck
Christine: Alright everyone hello and welcome to this new episode of the 360 Health Biz Podcast with Kendra Perry and myself, Christine Hansen. Today we have a very exciting topic for you.
Kendra: We do. I'm really excited to talk about this, because I think this is something that a lot of people are coming into contact with, it’s health practitioners. We learn all this stuff in school and we'd give it to our clients and some people take it and run with it and then get those results. But then you are always going to have those clients, that just, no matter what they do, they're just not getting the results that they want or you want them to have.
Christine: Yeah, absolutely and so today we are really going to look at all the blind spots that are out there and really going to help you troubleshoot, typical things I guess, that we've seen that our clients had trouble with or maybe that we figured out that we didn't ask in the beginning and that is now something that would just doing regularly, in order to figure out why they are stuck and so we have a couple of big categories that we're going to go through. The first one, although it seems obvious, is not talked about that much, is mindset.
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Christine: Absolutely. It starts when you actually meet them for the first time. When you have a bad feeling at the beginning, don't be afraid to go with your gut. I've done the mistake so many times, where I thought, 'okay, I have to earn some money' or 'I need the experience and the practice'; and whenever I had about feeling, it kind of panned out exactly that way. So don't be afraid; that would be lesson number one. Don't be afraid to not take a client. It just happened today, where I had someone say, 'Oh, I'm not going to do it after all and I'm going to get back to you in a couple of months'; and I just sent an email back and I said, 'look, I'm not someone, who does this back and forth stuff. I don't think it's a good idea if you come back to me, because I don't think we will be a good match'. He was actually really offended, but I'm sorry! Those are my rules. It's my business. I can do the way I want to do things. So, that is really something that you should start with. You are not under a back-end call, you don't belong to anyone. It's a partnership and I think that's super, super important. It's your job to call their bullshit, as well. We have a couple of things that we wrote down that happen often with mindset work.
Kendra: Can I just mentioned something before we get into the mindset stuff? I would say, I love what you said about that it is a partnership. You both need to be a fit for each other, but when I'm doing my discovery calls and I hear someone, who seems to be in victim mode; they're blaming everything on everyone else, but themselves and they're not taking personal responsibility. That's a big red flag and that's the kind of person, who may never get results, because they probably need to work with a counselor or they need to do that emotional work first, before they even come to you. So I would be aware of that victim mode, because their health is their responsibility. It's not my responsibility, it's not Christine's responsibility. It's that client's responsibility. If they're not in a place, where they are ready to take responsibility and if they're blaming their health on everyone else, but themselves, that's not going to be a good client. That's a big red flag! Just by meeting that type of person; that 'victim mode client', will actually greatly increase the success rate of your clients, because you're going to be working with people who are ready to take responsibility.
Christine: Absolutely. I think that's a huge one. Victim mode. Basically having them blame everyone else, rather than to look at their own behavior.That is also very close to the topic that we wrote down, which is self-sabotage. It's a fascinating subject. People don't even know that they're doing it. A lot of the time it has to do with people and how they consider themselves, how much they like themselves, how much they feel that they deserve things. There's a lot of work to do with self valorization, a lot of indoctrination work and a lot of people are brought up with putting themselves last. Having still voices in their head that actually aren't their own and they act upon that and they act a lot of the time, against their own integrity and it's your job to help them find out who they actually are.
What is their voice? What is the parent's voice? What was that teacher's voice? What is their work colleagues voice? What is their partner's voice? If they hear those voices, are those legitimate or not? Because a lot of the times, they will follow that made up advice and that is where self-sabotage comes in and that takes a lot of work. It's very often harmful. Very often it keeps them stuck to even do anything that you suggest to them. You could have the best protocol in the world, but if you have someone, who is just thinking, I don't have the time or I don't deserve investing in supplements or investing in testing, then very often, they are never going to get the results because, let's be honest, working on your health, is a marathon. You really need someone, who thinks they deserve it to actually feel better.
Kendra: Yes and I think, most clients will have a point in your protocol where they might do a bit of self-sabotaging. We all do it. I do it too! Sometimes I self-sabotage myself. I'm sure you do too, Christine! So I think we have to figure out at what point we do and let people know that if we do determine that they are self-sabotaging, that it's okay, and that everyone does it. We don't want to shame them for it. It happens! When we are sick for a long time, we get used to feeling a certain way. We get very used to not having energy. Recently I had a client, who seemed so motivated in the beginning, but as time went on, he just wasn't implementing and I asked him, if there was some part of him that is benefiting from the fact that he is fatigued all the time?
He said, he feels that he always has an excuse not to go out and be social. 'I don't need to go out and do the stupid family gatherings that I don't want to do and I can always say no. I always have a reason to say no, because I can say that I am tired and not feeling good'. That was really interesting, because I think, we do get used to feeling a certain way and maybe sometimes we do benefit from it. We're using it to our advantage. We can be like, 'oh, I can't go to work today because I have this issue' or 'Oh, I'm not going to do that' and maybe we are using it to our advantage. So I think that's an interesting thing to try and unravel with people.
Christine: Very interesting! I haven't gone that far yet to be honest. I haven't had a client, where I had that feeling; but it's something maybe that is so alien to me, that I probably wouldn't have considered it. So this is a lesson learned for myself right here. Alright, let's take another look. Take responsibility and then we obviously have a category, where you will meet people, who've had severe trauma. Those are things, where I would definitely say it's not our expertise. You can give support, you can give strategies to help with stress management and calm themselves down. But if you have a person, who had a traumatic experience, I would definitely refer them onto an expert. We're going to talk about the kind of types of experts that we usually refer our clients to, really be aware of that. It might be that they don't come to you immediately and tell you what's going on. Very often you will find it out as you are working with that client.
It's definitely something, where I would always recommend referring out.
Kendra: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's a good skill, as a practitioner to know at what point it is time to refer out. It's not to say that you can't continue to work with this person. You can still support them, but we have our expertise. Trauma and trauma counseling can be like a big rabbit hole. We don't want to be bringing out people's trauma or asking them to speak about it, unless we actually have the skills to do so. Trauma is a really interesting thing. I do a lot of mineral testing on clients and there's actually a mineral powder that I'll see in the minerals, where I'll know that someone probably has trauma in their past and it correlates really well. I would then ask and they'll be like, 'yes', and then I would suggest that they would probably benefit from doing some energy healing or working with a counselor, because it's a really big thing.
I think we have a history of childhood trauma or not even that really horrible kind of trauma, but just that limiting belief pattern, those beliefs and stories that we picked up when we were children. Like you were saying, those stories that we're telling ourselves from what our parents told us, or siblings or teachers or our friends, these things get wired into your brain and they give us belief patterns that we didn't live our lives through and kind of view through the lens. So I think we have to help people unravel that and then give them the help that they need, so they can help unravel that with a practitioner who knows how to do that.
Christine: Absolutely. I think that's the absolute basics that you need to have. No matter how great your programs are, how great your recipes are, how amazing your lab test protocols are. It's always a story of the mind and the body. It is really super crucial that you don't neglect that kind of part and really take that time to create that space for your clients to really be there; create that bubble around them. It's super exhausting sometimes, because it takes a little effort from you, but it's what really creates a change. It opens up trust. It opens up motivation. That is definitely a huge one. On the other hand, we are also very clear on boundaries and so that's our next big topic. So mindset is number one that you have to address, if your client gets stuck. Number two is boundaries, which is also important for your client to know. Make sure that you write down in your client agreement what your boundaries are. Whether or not you answer over the weekend, whether or not you answer after a certain amount of time. You let them know that your notes may come one or two days later. Set very clear expectations.
Kendra: Yes, because I think, when people aren't getting the results that they want, they might tend to reach out more. They might be emailing you all the time, because they're having a rough time and so like you said, it is really important to set those boundaries up front. I love having a contract or a waiver, where they actually have to check the box beside each item so that, they see it. I think these days people sign things without reading them.
Christine: That's very, very true.
Kendra: So having that expectation and being very clear on every aspect. How often can they email you? Do they get unlimited email support? How quickly are you going to respond or if you're not giving any unlimited email support, are you going to do email check ins? When is that going to be and what's going to happen? If they email you before that email check in, are you just going to log it and let them know, 'hey, we got it. We'll get to it in a week or whatever it is'.
Christine: That is just the best way of working together with that client and that partnership. It's just open communication about these things.
Kendra: Yeah, and if you don't set those boundaries, people will take advantage of you. I've had it happen to me and I'm sure you did too, Christine. When you started as a practitioner and you're less well versed on these things. I had a client once who was emailing me eight times a day and I didn't have anything in my contract about email and I was like, 'Oh yeah, just send me an email if you have questions'. It was crazy. So many questions, out of left field. What's your opinion on this or that? I have a really good one. I had clients send me a 2 hour webinar and tell me to watch it and give my opinion on it. My answer was, why don't you just tell me what it's about. Give me the summary and I'll give you my opinion.
Christine: I mean that's what's really important. It's not helping them either, because they very often need a structure to work in. It's very different to create a space, when you have your sessions with them, but they need that structure and they need to be reminded that it's a marathon and not a sprint. That is also through you not always replying instantly. Having said that; when you do work with your clients, when you are talking to them, a huge thing that you need to do, is to see where the gaps are about what they are telling you and what they're not telling you. I'm not saying every client is like that, but they don't know a lot of the times what might have an effect on their recovery or on the journey of getting better.
So it's really up to you to find out what kind of questions someone typically forgets to mention or doesn't like to mention and to go digging. Some typical example that I do, is I always ask my clients to keep food logs. I can see if they're motivated by doing it and a lot of the time, they have no idea about their lifestyle habits. You would think everyone knows sugar is not great, chocolate is not great and so forth. But a lot of them are not aware. Another factor that isn't always considered is emotional stress. Suddenly they have a symptom and you ask what's been going on? Was it something at work? No, everything was fine. What about your private life? No. Oh, hang on, actually, my wife's mother died and or something like that. It's something they forgot and you see how it correlates. Emotional stress is something that you need to go digging at as well. That is why creating space is so important; because it is so personal.
Kendra: Yes. Stress is a big one. I have worked with a couple of ladies, who were doing like massage therapy school recently. Massage therapy school, I don't know what it's like in Luxembourg, but in Canada it's crazy. It's a crazy schedule. They have crazy amounts of exams and there is such a high expectation to do all these projects in such a short amount of time. I've had a really hard time with those ladies, helping them get results, because their stress levels are through the roof. They're overwhelmed, they're stressed all the time. They don't have time for themselves or winding down. That's a hard one to work with. I do my best to support them and we can kind of keep them at some sort of baseline, but as to getting those real results and really getting their energy back or whatever it is. It's a tough one! Chronic stress trumps everything.
Christine: It does. It's so important to know what it actually is. So having the education and making them aware of factors that they might think are trivial and how much they are affecting the health is absolutely key.
Alright. So it's a lot of detective work on stress limiting beliefs that they have. Making them aware, as we said before and creating space. Now let's get to the practical things. Some things that are very often neglected and it's a discussion that you need to have.
I don't know how much of a protocol you have, Kendra. This is something that I mentioned to my folks, which is chemical exposure and I don't think I do it enough. I usually tell them, your skin is like a mouth. If you wouldn't actually eat it, you probably wouldn't put it on your skin or shouldn't put it on your skin. Very often it gives them an idea, but I think I should probably be a little bit stricter about it. This is a good one that you can actually handle as to how you do that, because I think your best practices might be better than mine.
Kendra: This is a really, really important one and honestly, I think as we move into the future, this is going to become way, way more important for all of us as health coaches. I know in the United States there are 84,000 chemicals in the environment. Those are in our personal care products, household cleaning products. They are in our air, food and water. Research shows that the dose doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're getting exposed to a little bit of that chemical or a large amount; the symptoms are going to be the same and the research is really clear on that. We know that it's getting stored in our body and we know that we're getting it. So this is a big deal. A lot of these chemicals actually inhibit enzymes to make certain hormones, to detox certain hormones. I think a lot of what we're seeing with thyroid disorder and estrogen issues, really comes down to a lot of these synthetic chemicals that we're getting exposed to. It's a big rabbit hole. It's huge. We are getting it from everywhere; but what are the things that we can control? We need to be talking to our clients about what are they using to cook their food in?
Are they using nonstick Teflon pans, for example? Any nonstick pan is full of chemicals and that is leaching into food. You mentioned it before. Personal care products, household cleaning products; anything we are rubbing on our skin. Toothpaste we're putting our mouth; 60% of what you put on your skin is going to end up in the bloodstream and at that point it can come into contact with every single cell in the body. It's a big thing. We also need to look at what our clients are drinking their water out of. Are they drinking out of a plastic bottle? Are they getting to go coffees? Because those little Dixie cups, that plastic lining, is an endocrine disruptor. It's synthetic estrogen. So you are getting a big dose of estrogen every time you get your little to go coffee in a Dixie Cup. It's just crazy! These are things we need to be thinking about with our clients.
Water is another big one. Your clients can not be drinking tap water or well water, absolutely not. Tap Water. If it's on municipal water, you're getting exposed to drug residues from all your neighbors, who are taking thyroid- and birth control pills and blood pressure medication. You're getting herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals and then you're getting the highlights: chlorine and bromine. Those things will actually interact with your thyroid. I could go deep on this one! We should actually do a whole episode on this, because I have the time and the will.
Christine: Absolutely, we will! I think that is a good starting point though. I usually tell my clients to start to slowly replace your household items. Take a look at what you have and then when it's empty, go to the shops and see whether you can get something that has the least chemicals as possible. Something that you are you comfortable with. Use essential oils as a replacement. Try to go natural as you can. Look to use deodorant that, because it's so close to your limbs, maybe doesn't have a perfume etc. I do mine out of essential oils. Different things, different suggestions and we are going to talk about that in more detail. It's just really important that it is a part of your program. Have a little side note in your program. A lot of 'done for you programs' for health coaches have detoxes in them. Before you do anything like that, it's super important that you support the liver, because you are basically going to pull all of those toxins, out of their safe space. Fats, deposits and antipode tissue and they're going to roam free. So it's super important that your liver is up to it and that it can flush them out. Before you do a detox with your clients at is something I would absolutely suggest you do first and then you can use a detox program that you have. Detoxing is nothing or it's not going to help, as much, as preventing having them replenish on their toxins. It's a big step that is often overlooked.
Kendra: And I love what you mentioned about doing it slowly, because if you just tell someone, okay, you need to get rid of all your pots and pans, you need to replace all your personal care, you need to get rid of all your makeup. That's crazy! People are feeling super overwhelmed. Creating some sort of protocol or a strategy that allows people to do it slowly, is really important. I don't think there's any point in detoxing anyone, if you don't address the incoming source of toxins. Of course some of it we have no control over. A lot of it comes to us through industry and even if we're eating organic produce and meat, it's still getting into us. We can't really fully control that, but there are a lot of things that we can control and that is really what we need to coach our clients on. I specialize in detox and I see so many of my clients full of chemicals and metals and all kinds of crazy stuff. So this is going to be a big thing.
Christine: And we're definitely to talk more about that and give you some protocol ideas in our membership site when we do that episode.
Oh, right! The next one is a simple one, but, and I'm guilty of not doing it enough. Hydration. I'm a disaster when it comes to hydration. I never get thirsty, unless my body is screaming for it. I very rarely get thirsty quickly. It makes the biggest, biggest difference. Hydration is huge. You can get little gadgets. I have a water bottle with a little lighting thing called 'Ulla', which lights up when I haven't used the bottle and moved it for some time. It reminds me to take a sip and those are little tricks that you need to use. As we said before, no tap water, use mountain spring in glass bottles. Don't buy the plastic use glass bottles. We have like this old school depositaire service. A truck or a van comes to your house every two weeks and delivers drinks to your door. That's why we use glass bottles, because we don't have to go to the shop and actually buy the bottles. They just get delivered and then they take them back and they are being cleaned and refilled.
Using glass bottles instead of plastic bottles changed my life. Give kids also small glass bottles. I have one in the car and just thinking about the plastic getting hot and having all those chemicals in the water for my little one, is not acceptable. As to the amount of water. People say two to three liters a day, I can hardly imagine it. Water is key. When you start working with someone, really asked them to only drink water; not even have tea or anything like that, but really only stick to water for a couple of weeks.
Kendra: Yeah, I agree. I love talking about hydration, because I feel like with health, our minds naturally get really complicated and I think people do this too. They're like, oh my God, I'm not feeling well. Maybe it's this, maybe it's that. Maybe I have a parasite. Sometimes we just need to come back to the basics. Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you reducing stress? Sometimes it's a "dah..." situation. Water is really important. I usually recommend that people drink about half their body weight in ounces in a day. It can seem like a lot for people. Usually when people feel thirsty, it means they're very dehydrated and that their body's not even able to tell them that they are dehydrated. Most people will need to work up to drinking more water, because it is a bit tricky. I always recommend that people put sea salt or Himalayan rock salt in their water. I put a quarter teaspoon for every liter of water I drink and what's really amazing is that it is one of the biggest things that has helped my clients. It's a biggest game changer for everyone. Almost every single one of my clients says that it has helped them so much. It's been a game changer for me too. It's so simple.
Christine: Absolutely. Take notes people! We are going to write it down in the show notes and do a check list of the things that we're suggesting. This is golden. Thank you! That was hydration. The next one is overhyped, but it's not, it's just reality. It's a topic that you've heard about. It is gluten, my friends. I know everyone is talking about it and yet our clients are cheating, like right front and center! They know and sort of have an idea. What we found is that you really need to explain them the why. You really need to educate them and not just say you can't eat gluten. If you tell that to someone, they just want to shoot themselves. It's just like this image of pasta and pizza vanishing forever. When you actually explain what that is and what it does to your intestinal wall. How it has evolved through the years in commercial farming. That its antibodies stay in your body for months and that they are creating havoc in there and that it is a doppelganger for hormone enzymes.
For example, gluten is a doppelganger for your thyroid hormone, so your body can get confused. Gluten and casein are both doppelgangers of the thyroid hormone, so that is important. We also have to look at where we can find gluten. It's not just in refined foods, like flour and so forth. It's also in personal care products. It's in sauces, it's in so many different things. We talked about this a little bit. It's just incredible. So it can be exhausting, but I find when you teach them what it is, it's much easier to find it. I also find results are incredibly quick. If you take someone of gluten, they're going to lose so much weight, so quickly. They are going to feel so much better so quickly. So it's worth it. But I find the biggest mistake is just telling them that they can't eat gluten.
Kendra: I agree. You've got to educate them. Because it is trendy. Gluten free is this super trendy thing. It's the one thing I can pull from someone's diet that almost always gives them some sort of results. I noticed a big difference with energy levels, especially if you have clients, who are chronically fatigued. I mean, gluten has to go; they need to at least challenge it. You don't need to tell them get rid of it forever, but maybe let's get rid of it for 3 to 6 months and see what happens. Let's see how you feel. Something that a lot of people don't know about gluten, is that with conventional farming, they actually dump roundup or glyphosate on wheat crops of two to three days before harvest, because it enhances the yields, which is crazy! This is like GMO glyphosate, pure chemical that they just dumped all over it three days before they harvest it and put it to market. So that's a big deal!
Christine: It is. I think it's even more in the US than in Europe, because even though we do have roundup, it's a different kind. It's a little bit regulated, a little bit harsher, but still, let's not fool ourselves, it's still not ideal.
Kendra: Europe is way ahead of us in so many things.
Christine: But I think even knowing that these plants are harvested when they're supposed to reproduce and they are naturally protecting themselves from being eaten by animals, why would we be able to tolerate it then? It's very, very logical if you go into the story and if you haven't done so, please do and try to find your way of educating it or transmitting that information to your client. I find gluten is a game changer, but you need to really educate and do your homework with your client on that.
Kendra: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's a good way to approach it as like an elimination diet. Let's take it out and let's see what happens. If people notice that it makes them feel better, they're going to be way more on board with actually sticking with it, if they actually see the results.
Christine: Absolutely. Another thing that both Kendra and I found, is that sometimes just coaching and just optimizing in general is not enough. That is when you have clients, who are skeptical, who need a little bit more data and information. That's when I would work with someone, who is into functional diagnostics and who can run some lab tests. I cannot tell you how often my clients only started to become very motivated, after they seen the test results. You can evaluate it again and it gives them a beautiful window afterwards, when they reevaluate and see how everything changed. I find testing is huge in motivating your clients.
Kendra: Yeah, absolutely. Both Christine and I, we are both functional diagnostic nutrition practitioners and I agree that testing is a really powerful tool. If you're a health coach and you don't have this tool, we do recommend maybe making a connection with someone who does this. I have a few health coaches, who send me their clients. They just aren't getting results or it sounds like they have a parasite or maybe they think they have a mineral imbalance. They'll send them to me and we'll do the testing and they'll continue to work with them and support them. You could do it as a collaborative thing. The type of client comes to me, is a woman, who is usually very on top of things, already eating organic or eating a Paleo Diet.
They do lots of yoga, they meditate, they do all these really amazing things for their health and they still feel like absolute garbage. With a client like that, you really do need lab testing. We need to look under the hood. We need to see what is preventing the body from functioning at its best. Sometimes you can't even give that person anymore advice, because they're eating this amazing diet, they're sleeping, they're reducing stress. So where do you look next? I think that's why it's important to have that connection with someone, who can do lab testing with your client.
Christine: Yeah, I absolutely agree. As Kendra said, if you want to get into this and you didn't know where to start, then just reach out to us and we can hook you up with getting those step data. That's going to help you to actually show your clients something. Sometimes it's just easier than just having faith. Having faith can be difficult, especially if you're exhausted and if everything seems to go wrong. So then you need to get one.
Kendra: Absolutely! I know with myself, I can do anything, if I know it's what I'm supposed to do. If I see a lab test that shows that you have this issue, you need to do this, I'm onboard! I'll go like balls to the wall with it. But if I hear, 'oh, I think, your liver is congested, take this and oh maybe you have a vitamin B deficiency, take this', then I have a really hard time following through with it. I'm very much like a data person and need to see it. So if you see that your clients are like that too, then maybe you do need to find someone, who can help them with the testing.
Christine: Exactly. I agree. Oh, right. Then the last thing that we mentioned in the beginning, is when to refer out and to whom. Kendra and I both have a list of practitioners that we refer out to. So as we said before, if it's a traumatic thing, it might be a psychologist. If it's severe depression, maybe a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are very different in different countries. In Luxembourg it's more dealing out tablets than anything else. So you need to know who you're working with.
I send a lot of my clients to hypnotherapists. I work very closely with a friend of mine, who does that. I find it works really, really well. So hypnotherapy is definitely one and then I also refer them out, when I find that there is some body stress to a friend who does Bowen therapy. Bowen therapy is working with the Fascia of the body, which is basically your epiderm I believe. The layer on top of your muscles and it's very gentle and it just helps very well when you have tension. I would say, if you need to have a rehabilitation of something. If you had surgery and you need rehab of your stuff, go to a physiotherapist. If it's your bones go to an osteopath or chiropractor and when it's tension, I very often really liked to work with Bowen, because it's so gentle. Those are a couple of treatments that I refer to. Kendra, you have a couple of others that you like.
Kendra: Yes, I refer a lot to acupuncture. I think acupuncture is really helpful when there's inflammation or even with emotional issues. I think acupuncturist can really be good at opening up those, chi pathways or whatever they call it in the body. So I recommend a lot to acupuncture. I also recommend a lot to counselors, who do Emdr, which stands for: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It's a really great trauma therapy. It uses the eye movements to reset pathways in the brain and unwind the associations that you have from traumatic pasts. I actually did it this myself and it's probably one of the most powerful things I've ever done for my emotional health. It's literally been life changing. I refer a lot of my clients, who have a history of childhood trauma or have been through really traumatic situations or events. I find it to be really powerful and generally a counselor will have some sort of training in this, so you'll just want to make sure you find someone, who's good at it. That's a really good one.
I also do cranial sacral, which I use for structural issues. If people have a lot of migraines or headaches, I might send them to someone, who does cranial sacral. I don't really fully understand what it is, but they do a lot of realigning the spine and working with interstitial, spinal fluid. I find that really helpful as well.
Christine: Absolutely. I had Faydra and Choco doing that on my summit a year ago and I was absolutely blown away by the results that this therapy can provide. I haven't met anyone here in Luxembourg who does it. I'm pretty sure in the US you would be able to find some practitioner nearby. So those are a couple of things that I would say are only helpful, if you build relationships with those practitioners. I mean it is holistic. We look at the different parts. Everyone has their expertise. Nobody needs to know everything. It's about helping people buffer everything and to support their body as much as we can.
Kendra: Yeah, exactly. Usually people need a lot of different help and a lot of times we see things that people need help with and we can't be the ones to help them with, especially when we're working online with people. Maybe we have massage skills, but I can't massage you. I think it's really good to source out certain practitioners. Maybe in the area we will work in or even online and build relationships with them, so you can trust them and then you can send your clients to them. They can then maybe refer clients back to you.
It's also a good strategy for increasing the amount of clients that you're getting and increasing referrals. I think it's really important to sort of recognize, when you're not the right person to help them out.
Christine: Yeah, absolutely and it will have them not to be stuck anymore. Okay, so let's just go through it very quickly. So we talked about mindset. We talked about your boundaries that are beneficial for you, plus your clients. We talked about chemical exposure, we talked about hydration, we talked about gluten and we talked about testing and we talked about when to refer out. So it's seven elements in total that we looked at today. For a couple of them we already decided to do separate episodes on. If there's a topic that you want to know more about than just reach out to us.
Christine: We've also just created a new patron side. I'm going to drop the link in the description box so that you can support us if you went to and we're going to listen to your wish list to talk about that very soon and that would be it for this episode.
Kendra: Thanks everyone.
Christine: Thanks and we will talk to you in a couple of weeks when we'll be back. You can see our videos on Facebook, on YouTube, and you can listen to us on our podcast, which is hosted on audioboom and on iTunes, and you can find everything on our website, which is 360healthbizpodcast.com. Bye!