Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching

From Corporate Executive to Health and Wellness Coach? (Kathy Robinson - Episode #134)

October 07, 2020 Kathy Robinson Season 3 Episode 70
Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching
From Corporate Executive to Health and Wellness Coach? (Kathy Robinson - Episode #134)
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Catalyst Health, Wellness and Performance Coaching
From Corporate Executive to Health and Wellness Coach? (Kathy Robinson - Episode #134)
Oct 07, 2020 Season 3 Episode 70
Kathy Robinson

She was a high-level corporate executive for decades. Then one day she started thinking "what if?" and it was the beginning of a journey for Kathy Robinson that would eventually lead to starting her own health and wellness coaching business!

For the current and future health and wellness coaches, this episode is an obvious. But for anyone who has ever wondered, dreamed, considered a change in their life... the value of this special episode will pay notable dividends and help you consider the road not (yet) taken!

Here is the link to the brief video mentioned: https://youtu.be/NFZ8bbnpMSY

Show Notes Transcript

She was a high-level corporate executive for decades. Then one day she started thinking "what if?" and it was the beginning of a journey for Kathy Robinson that would eventually lead to starting her own health and wellness coaching business!

For the current and future health and wellness coaches, this episode is an obvious. But for anyone who has ever wondered, dreamed, considered a change in their life... the value of this special episode will pay notable dividends and help you consider the road not (yet) taken!

Here is the link to the brief video mentioned: https://youtu.be/NFZ8bbnpMSY

Dr. Cooper:

Welcome to the latest episode of the Catalyst Health, Wellness, and Performance Coaching podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute, and today's guest will bring a completely new dose of inspiration your way. Kathy Robinson had a decades long successful career as a corporate executive, including roles as chief audit executive and risk officer. And then she walked away. She went on to start her own business as a health and wellness coach, and is not only thriving in her business, but also on a personal level. The appeal of her story for current and future health and wellness coaches, that's obvious, but this interview goes so much further providing food for thought, encouragement and hope about the potential road not taken for all of us. By the way, the concentrated portion of our final wellness coach certification fast track of 2020 is coming up November 14th and 15th. It's entirely virtual. And as soon as you register, you can, if you'd like begin the other components of the process. This will set you up for the 2021 national board certification through the NBHWC so if that's the route, you're going, perfect timing. Please note the past five fast-tracks have filled early. So if this is a priority for you, please don't wait. All the details at CatalystCoachingInstitute.com or feel free to reach out to us anytime [email protected] For everyone else, you might want to check out the youtube.com/coaching channel spot, as we now have almost a hundred videos covering health, wellness, and performance available for free on the site, including a new one this week, about how to make that career transition into health and wellness, just like Kathy did if that's an interest for you now, it's time to take a journey with Kathy Robinson on the latest episode of the Catalyst Health, Wellness, and Performance Coaching Podcast. Well, Kathy , this is going to be fun. Thank you for joining us here on the Catalyst Health, Wellness, and Performance Coaching podcast.

Kathy Robinson:

It is so good to be here, Brad. Thank you so much for having me.

Dr. Cooper:

Let's set the stage a little bit. Our audience knows you from your bio, but can you, can you share your story? What were the various catalysts for shifting from I mean, and we'll talk more about this, but you're the chief audit executive. You're a risk officer and now you running your own certified health and wellness coaching business. What, walk us through that story a little bit.

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah. Um, well, just by way of context, I've lived in the New York city area of the United States, my entire life. I spent my first 18 years of my career on wall street and then worked for a fortune 250 human capital management company. I was there for 15 years and half of those years, as you mentioned as the chief risk officer and the chief audit executive. A few years ago, I began to think about the second act of my career. Um, and I asked myself a question , it's almost embarrassing to say that I never asked myself before, which is how would I like to spend my time? You know you just get so ingrained in your next step instead of thinking how would I want to spend it? And the answer was in my bookshelves , all these books on healthy eating and endurance sports , weight training, but along with that was writing and creativity, spirituality, simplicity. I mean, I can go on meditation, nature. All of this fell under the umbrella of wellness of living a good life. And so while I was working , I studied to become a certified wellness coach. I didn't even know that profession existed. And so I started to become a coach. I created Athena wellness enterprises. And in my last year of corporate, I started, I was creating the business infrastructure, but I started blogging and I started writing the book. And so that is what gave me the ability. Now my current business portfolio , is the blog, the book, the coaching, and I'm also doing online writing meditation classes and meditation classes. And that really helped us to deepen the wellness journey and community. If you would have asked me, Hey, what is your business going to look like? There was no way that I could have given you that answer 18 months ago.

Dr. Cooper:

That is so, I mean, what you said there about, I'd never asked myself that question, what do I want to be like, what a crazy thought. I mean, and I , and I'm, I'm laughing because I'm the same. Exactly. So what, what created that? I don't know. Why , why did that suddenly happen? What was that Genesis? What, dig into that a little more for us .

Kathy Robinson:

I'm 56. Now I began thinking about what I wanted to do. I was calling it my second act, you know, in my early fifties. And I remembered watching my brother, my brother's 10 years older than I am, when he approached 55, it was really empowering for him to know that he could retire. He chose to, and he wound up spending 10 more years in, in fact he just retired when I did. So he retired at the same time, a decade apart, but I figured I would probably do the same thing. Let me explore, let me start to have fun in trying different things, trying different hats on. And maybe one day in my late fifties, I'll give it a call. You know , I'll call it a day. Um, so I started getting into things that I really liked, which were endurance sports, taking classes like plant-based sports nutrition, to help with the inflammation as you get older and start training like that. And all of that kind of led me in the direction, unbeknownst to me to wellness coaching, but the aha moment, which is what I think you're asking. It came just after my 54th birthday, I reported to functionally to the audit committee chair of the board of directors, of the company that I worked for. His retirement was announced. And then 10 days later, my administrative boss, who I adored the CFO of the company announced his retirement. And when that retirement, I had a pen in my hand and I wrote on the pad that I was holding retire like time, right? So I really gave it some time. I didn't want to make an emotional, you know, emotional decision. But I really thought that this is a pretty big universal nod that this may be a good time to go. And then deep inside, I had to decide whether I had the energy that I knew it would require not only to develop new relationships, but to keep up the pace of global travel. I had a global team. And so within a few months I let management and the board know that I'd be retiring too . And my last official day was November 1st, 2019.

Dr. Cooper:

Well, and again, just to repeat, you had, at that point already become certified. You had already put some, some wheels in motion. Did I hear that correctly?

Kathy Robinson:

That is correct. Yes.

Dr. Cooper:

Gotcha, gotcha. Excellent. All right . So now you've been doing it. Let's see, not quite a year, you said November 19. So not quite a year at the time we're recording this in 2020, what have been some of the things that have surprised you most in this journey?

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah, that's a great question. I think my biggest surprise was discovering the parallels between what I did in my corporate career, to what I do as a wellness coach, as an auditor. And I will tell you, it was stumbling upon that was the missing link that really clicked this whole business into, into place. So I got certified in May, 2018 and I was still working. No one knew that I was considering retirement at the time and I was wrestling with two questions. One was, how did I want to design my new life? Right? Because I'm asking myself, how do I want to spend my time? So what does this new life look like? And then the second thing was after 30 plus years in corporate, why would somebody choose me as their wellness coach? I really needed to answer that for myself. And along with that, I had two pieces of advice from two good friends that was also floating around in my brain. The first was, this was great advice. Explore the times in your career when you felt in flow, when were you really enjoying the things you were doing. And the second thing was, this is a little more esoteric, identify the key turning points in your professional and personal life. And the , she said, put those experiences in your medicine bundle, meaning how can you honor them in such a way that they become useful for somebody else? That was a lot for the summer of 2018. That was a lot that was kind of floating around in my brain. And August of that year, I'm flying home from a West coast trip. I'm thinking about these questions, I'm pondering the advice. And I literally got hit with the proverbial lightning bolt that was so striking, I scared the businessman who was sitting next to me. I made an audible explanation and being from New Jersey, you can imagine it a little scary. And the connection that I made was I had been assessing the wellness of fortune 500 companies, my entire career. But I thought about what I did as an audit and a risk professional, I was responsible for identifying things that were going well, how could we leverage those assessing threats to those objectives? What could go wrong? How do we create action plans? How do we measure impact? How do we provide accountability? These are the things that we do for our clients. I just needed to turn that lens from a professional risk assessment to personal wellness. And I pulled out, I had a bullet journal that I was keeping all my business ideas in , and I began to outline this process. And in minutes I had my wellness philosophy and I had the methodology sketched out and I look back on it now it's so clear, like, Oh, I've been on this journey my entire life, but it took so long to just flounder around and kind of find that way. And , and I mentioned a quote in the book towards the end of the book, by a poet, Antonio Machado. He says, traveler, there is no path. You make the path by walking, by walking, make the path. And that was exactly this journey that I've been on. But that's what was so surprising that there were parallels all along almost as if I knew, but I didn't know in the moment.

Dr. Cooper:

That's so powerful. And we see that all the time, obviously with your unique background, you found that you made that connection, but we see that with folks from all kinds of backgrounds where they're like, Oh my gosh, I never thought of this being lead into that. I think that's one of the things if, folks it's not starting over, it's moving forward with all the things that you developed over time that you don't even realize you've developed. So that is fantastic, Kathy . So you've been doing it for a while now. What do you enjoy most about being a health and wellness coach? Well , most is the wrong word. What are some of the things that you love most about being a health and wellness coach?

Kathy Robinson:

Regarding clients, I love bridging the corporate and the wellness. You know, I get to, you know, if I have to write out my job description , it's like I help professionals optimize their wellbeing. Okay. But what does that mean? Right . It really means helping them take a holistic approach to wellness. So mind, body, they pretty much have the spirit part. You know, when you get into the more esoteric topics, how do I make that relatable for the type A driven executives, which by the way I was, and probably still, you know, to some extent you, don't just, you don't just leave that. You know, especially those folks who have just maxed out or become burnt out or disconnected. So I think my real life experience in the corporate world brings a level of relate-ability and understanding of what a client might be going through. And because of that, they don't have the words to say this, but I believe there's trust that I'll be able to hold the kind of space they need to drop their professional facade, which can be so, you know, so, so overpowering some time and to be able to do the deep work, to address that disconnect from what is wholehearted living for them, you know, because they're on this routine as I was this routine treadmill. Um, so, and I also think we're in very unusual times and I think my drive has really been heightened now because the level of individual and collective stress now , uh, has really gone through the roof between the pandemic and we are in this amazing place of great social change. And so it's such a unique time for, to help clients find a thread or find something in their life that feels true. That feels more of a truer expression of themselves. And so that's been just a , just a ball for me to , to be involved in. Regarding the business itself, I love putting the pieces together to create something that never existed before. Um, so, you know, creating a virtual team and, and, and learning like, what is this thing called entrepreneurship? Um, so there's been a lot of, of, of business learning for me. But it's just so fun to see both of those sides come together and know , I don't need to have all the answers, which again, one of those permission, things that I'm just giving myself now of like, Hey, let's give this a shot and see what happens. And so there's been a lot of freedom in that as well.

Dr. Cooper:

The power in what you just said is immense. I don't need to have all the answers. Now, people listen to this and are going, but she kind of does, like, based on your background, people are sitting here going, Oh my God . And we'll come back to this a little bit later, but you have an amazing background, your , your confidence level, your, your credibility, all these things are so powerful. And yet you were still willing to say, I don't need to have all the answers. Was there some transition? Was there some thing that led to that? Or is that just who you've always been?

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah. Well, I will tell you the scariest thing for me was giving up a reliable paycheck. I know where people are kind of coming from, you know, from that, I mean, you know, I got my first job at age 11. I had a paper route and I knock on wood, had never been out of work. So this was a huge, huge leap. I got around that fear. I'm glad you mentioned confidence because it's , it's been, it's been hard earned. Um, I got around that fear mentally by turning it around and at this point , a lot of reflection in this process. Um, but reflecting on my career and realizing I've always delivered in the corporate world. So I was like, why would this be different? Like, let me turn this question around, instead of being afraid of what could fail, why wouldn't I be successful? And I , I didn't mean that as you know, cocky. It's like, let's come up with reasons on like specific concrete ways that this could fail. And like, how possible is that? So there's always a possibility of that happening, but that at least gave me a little bit of breathing room because, you know, you could feel, I could feel a tightening in my chest of like I'm giving away, there's been this ATM machine.

Dr. Cooper:

Right.

Kathy Robinson:

So in addition, I had , um, you know, this wasn't a decision that was made quickly. I wanted to land my corporate career so I could hand it off to my successor, which took a while to find so while I was still working, I did a lot of behind the scenes work, the business infrastructure, the strategic planning, writing a book, getting certified, coaching for free. And you're doing all those things. I looked at it as an apprenticeship to myself. Right . And I really wanted to make effective use of that time. So, and as you know, and I, I think what a lot of people don't see is that when you're going through this, this transformation, just like the, you know, the proverbial Caterpillar to butterfly like that middle stage, which is where I was in all of that, it gets messy. I mean, like you completely, this whole career is coming down. And this other thing, I don't know what it's going to be yet, but you know, the cells are there and the DNA is there. And, you know , one is going to turn into a butterfly. And what does this look like? I had the cover of having my corporate job at the time as I was going through this. So there was a lot happening in that, you know , one to two year period as a , as this transformation was kind of happening. So, you know, I would suggest to your, to your listeners that, you know , if you're going to make a decision like this , um, you know, there's both the head in the heart and if it's too much logic that could be inertia. And if it's too much heart, that could be, you know , uh, impulsive, an impulsive decision. So I would certainly counsel your listeners not to put themselves in financial peril because , uh , I also believe that energetically, your clients can feel that. So getting yourself prepared, I think was really critical.

Dr. Cooper:

Again, outstanding advice. We, we constantly are recommending to people, you, when you're, when you're making decisions based on the money, you're not making good decisions. And that applies to so many things in life, but it absolutely applies when you're, when you're launching a business. All right , let's stay on that for a second. Someone's listening to this. They're not happy in their current career. They're driving to work and they're just a , here we go again. Or they are driving home and they're just thinking, it's another one of those days that just keep happening, but it's good money. It's good stability. It's a lot of things you talked about. Can you provide some sort of food for thought on why, and you've talked about some of the hows, but the why it might still be worth exploring looking into this, starting the journey may be dipping the toe in the water kind of thing at this point for them.

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah. You know, and to me it was that feeling. So you described it well, like I can remember those commutes home and you just, you know, going into work and just, you feel that weight and you're coming back and you're carrying all of this stuff home. It was that tension over a number of years that made me realize that if I don't start doing something, like, I'm never going to get out of this. And I was blessed. I had , I had a wonderful career, but it wasn't something like it didn't, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't that it lit me up. It was something I was good at. And that's very different. Like, you can be really good at something and excel at something and, and it doesn't provide that same kind of, of, of excitement of getting up and facing the day. Right. So one thing I would suggest is that you can use that tension that you're feeling to, to propel yourself forward. I think one of the things that scares a lot of people and me too, is, you know, I was coming from a corporate environment. I mean, I had no idea how to start an online business, which is what I wound up doing. And one of the smartest things that I did in the fall of 2018, right after I had that airplane epiphany, and I , before I announced my retirement, I hired a 30 something year old digital marketing coach. And her name was Amanda. I found her book through an Amazon search. She had, she wrote a book called Wellpreneur and she had a website and a podcast that was full of all this great free information. And she just happened to open up her coaching slate , that fall. And I spent three very intense months while I was traveling while I was working. She gave me a crash course, building a website. I built, my first website, I built myself, identifying my ideal client. She was, she was no nonsense, identifying my ideal client, creating a lead sales magnet, understanding, I had no idea there was an online sales funnel. What is that? But she also did some of the softer stuff, which was, how do you want your life and your business to feel , how do you get over this fear? And she actually helped me turn those questions around. How do you develop a strategic plan that is workable. So when our work together came to an end, that's where I got the confidence from. I said, you know, I can make this happen. Like this is doable. And it was really good learning too , to work with a coach for the first time and be in the client end, you know, on the client's side. So that was kind of how I went about it. For the listeners, my suggestion would be take an inventory of your professional and your personal interests and the opportunities for, for future learning. The great news is that we're living in a time, we have unprecedented access to information. We can learn about anything we want. So if you like books, there's reading and blogs. If you'd rather view something between you can learn online, Ted talks, websites. And I did all of these things, right. Listening to podcasts, to and from work, getting into group and formal training, informal training mentorships. So there's a bunch of things that you can do, but once you actually find that topic of interest, really the keys for me was practicing. How do I experiment and perform this new skill in ways that are, that are low impact? Like there isn't a lot on the line for me, which is why I did it early, finding some sense of community, or in many cases, we have to create our own and then repetition doing it again and again. And when you find those things that you're having fun doing that that becomes a very easy , um, proposition and something you look forward to.

Dr. Cooper:

That's great. Fantastic. So obviously we met through our certification program and I don't want this to be an ad for the Catalyst Coaching Institute, but can you talk more generically how you chose for you the best coaching certification once you decide to move forward?

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah, sure. Um, as you can imagine, just based on our conversation, I did a lot of research and I looked at a lot of programs. Um, some of them were eliminated early because some required either degrees I didn't have, or experience in health related fields or a certification , uh, that was related. So those were easy to kind of eliminate. Um, some of them were too narrowly focused for what I wanted to do. So specifically nutrition or other cases were too broad, like life coaching, you know, so I wanted something that was kind of the middle of the road that could be adapted to what I really want to do, even though I didn't know what that was at the time, the criteria that really sealed the deal and why I did decide to come to, to Catalyst and why I kept coming back to that program. One was, which was really critical with a full time job, the online fast track option. So it was online or in person. And then you could , uh, I think I did it in a, in a number of months, I was very motivated to kind of get that done. And there was the option to do that. Um, the second, which I didn't even know this was important until I learned about it. I love this, this idea of motivational interviewing and that kind of support because it fit in with my, my overall mindset, my philosophy, and it felt very natural to me that the program was accredited was, was important. The broad range of topics I could get very specific on, you know, markers for specific diseases or talk about the impact of sleep or nutrition. Like it was nice and broad. And I love that , uh, also ability to learn more about the coaching business, which I knew nothing. So there was an option of doing the CMBA, which I really liked if I had to say what really sealed the deal, though, I needed to feel comfortable as a 50 something year old person going back to school. And , and I felt very comfortable in that program.

Dr. Cooper:

Awesome. Awesome. Hopefully there's some nuggets in there for folks that are in that process. I think I have a sense at your answer to this one, but let's go ahead and explore it. There , there are obviously a lot of different routes someone can take in health and wellness. They can work for a wellness company. They can start their own business like you , you did. They can take that certification and they can do more program development for an employer, for example. Did you know for sure that you were going to do your own thing? Did you look at some of those different options? Walk us through that mental thought process a little bit.

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah. I didn't know what I was going to do when I started , uh, getting certified. I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I just, I really felt like I needed a place to explore the topics I was interested in. And this just seemed to be a way to do that. As I, after I got certified , that summer, when I was thinking more about what , like, what do I want my life to be like, I knew as a coach, it was important for me to be able to share my wellness methodology that was just starting to form in my philosophy. I felt better and I feel better and I'm more fit in my mid fifties than I was in my mid thirties. I felt that that, that there was something there that I wanted to share. Um, and so these wellness turning points became critical for me personally, to explore, but I thought these would be great connection points for, for clients. And also what simple wellness practices that I do. And for me, it was through writing through meditation and through what I call positive action. But I was doing this as I was working full time on airplanes, like flying to India. It was, I got so much, wellness done. So you know, what were some of these things and how can I package them and codify them and offer them up to folks that are, are in that boat. So when it came to coaching, it was important for me to find ways to help, to help people learn how to treat themselves with more self-compassion, which was a late lesson in life, for me to understand why they wanted to change, which gets back to that motivational type of interviewing how to show up for themselves consistently, and with optimism and enthusiasm, how to create, not, not worry about the shoulds, but how to create a self, a customized self care plan like that just fits them for where they are in life. Cause it's , it's fluid. Wellness is fluid as , as we age and then how to develop a support system for themselves. So that was what was kind of kicking around in my head from a coaching standpoint, as a business owner or, or in my business life, whatever that was going to take. Uh , I knew I wanted my life, my business to feel creative. I call it inspired livelihood, but how can I feel creative every day ? How can this be lucrative? I'm creating a thriving business and brand this isn't a hobby. And then the last thing was that was important to me. How could it be portable? How can it be location independent? Um, so those were all of those factors together made me feel like, you know what, maybe it makes sense to try this on your own rather than going down a different route. It just made sense for me.

Dr. Cooper:

Let's run down part of that. You , you mentioned the words, you want it to be lucrative. You're building a thriving business. Speak to, we've got some folks I'm sure that are like, Hey, I'm already certified. I'm already, you know, I'm coaching. Talk to that group about things like pricing. I think one of the hesitancies for coaches is they care so much about what they're doing. They want to have such an impact that they're like, Oh, I don't want to charge too much. Talk us through the mental side of that because we've always said no margin, no mission. If we don't have a profit margin, we cannot continue to do what we're doing as a coach. So it's critical that you're charging an appropriate amount for what you're doing with your business, or you can't continue to do it. The mortgage company doesn't care that you're having this big impact. They need their payment, the car, you know, whatever it might be, the gas you're putting in your car, the groceries, et cetera, talk us through the mental side of, of the pricing and the I'm building a business. I'm not just doing a hobby that covers the costs .

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah, that's a great question. And you know, a lot of the pricing comes through the confidence, right? And knowing that the solutions that you're offering are worth what it is that you're asking. Um, I have a , a quote in the book that's related to wellness. I say wellness is a form of self respect. I believe you can put pricing, pricing is a form of self respect, because if you're treating your business the way you want your clients to treat their wellness coaching experience with you, you want them to put the work in. You need to do that as well. Like you, this is , um, it's, it's beneficial on both sides. And I think if you can step into that, I think it gives you a sense of authority. I think the right clients are attracted to the right coaches, regardless of price. I would never suggest going crazy with it , but also pricing is a way of, of , adjusting the client flow. So, you know, you're at a good price point when your time and your, your roster of clients, time that you want to, to give and the roster of clients is kind of equal. When there aren't enough clients, you may, maybe you're , you're a little too high for that point in your career and vice versa, you know, when you start to get really good and you, and you have a , and I've seen this with the coaches that I've worked with, you know, that flow opens up too much and you have to kind of, instead of turning folks away, though, they will raise their prices because they've , they've earned that. Right. And so it's a journey and there's no answer, there's no one right answer, but you know, the, the advice that I got early on, it's like, whatever you think it should be, add X percent, you know, like you're probably under. So you think about that. I, when I was thinking about my personal , uh, price points, I looked at people that I enjoyed working with, and I did have the opportunity to work one on one with a coach. And so I felt that I could deliver that type of experience. And that's the way I priced when I started. And that will change. Uh , just like your client base will change your pricing and your offerings will change over time.

Dr. Cooper:

Yeah. That's good. Yeah. Supply and demand. It always plays a part. So well said, we actually just did a video on the YouTube coaching channel specific to pricing your coaching folks. So if you're, if you're out there going, Oh man, I, you know, Kathy's right on , but I don't know what to do with that. You might want to peek at that it's a five, six minute video. So , um, all right . So there are a lot of folks listening to they're saying, Yeah, yeah, Kathy , but you're, you're an executive, you know everything about the business side. I don't even, I don't even know where to start. Any suggestions, guidance thought processes, et cetera, for folks that might be thinking along those routes?

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah. Well, you know, I would counter that. Most of the brands, you know and love today were started by kids with no business experience and limited life experience. If you think about it, right.

Dr. Cooper:

That is dead on wow.

Kathy Robinson:

Um, and you know, my experience came from corporate. That's not entrepreneurship that is not coaching. And so it goes back to that quote about making your own path. This has been, you know, when I think about these last two years, I've learned more about myself and, you know, pricing, you gave an example of where somebody can kind of come up against their own edges. You're constantly facing like where that next threshold is, where that next edge is. And that's just part of the process. So if somebody is concerned about learning about business, well , there's ways of stepping into that. And you can also partner with somebody. There are always ways, there are always different routes, but it has to be the right way for you. So I could talk about all the different things that folks can do. But the one thing that I think really helped me was really trying to get clear on what I wanted out of my business. And I was very deliberate not to recreate the busy-ness of my corporate career. I made a very smart decision to, you know, there have been times when I've turned business away, wasn't the right fit. I didn't think I could help them. Or there were times when I coached for free early on, cause I thought it was the right thing to do. So I would spend that time really thinking about what do you want your business to be? And you grow it as I am very organically, like I'm in this for the next 10 to 15 years. So I'm paying close attention to the foundation that takes time to build. So that feeling of overwhelm of all of these things that need to be done will dissipate as you start to take small steps and small actions and find your way as we said before, you know, and that was probably one of the biggest mindset shifts I needed to make, where in corporate, the board would say, what's XYZ. And I needed to have that answer of what that was. I have come to learn that you can have spend a lot of time getting a solid vision in place, which I have be very flexible with your plans to be able to amend. As you know, when I started, I had no idea pandemic was coming down. I wonder what my thought process would have been a year ago saying, Oh yeah. And by the way, once you give up that paycheck, this major global pandemic is coming down. I probably would have said, you know what? I'm sticking with my current job.

Dr. Cooper:

Maybe we'll stick around . Yeah.

Kathy Robinson:

You know, so, so I would say that idea of having that vision, but taking small manageable steps that feel okay to you, but consistently doing that is probably a great place to start.

Dr. Cooper:

So you said something else that is so powerful. I want to make sure people didn't miss this. You said, I want to make sure I didn't just recreate, and I'm putting words in your mouth a little bit here, but recreate my old job with a new topic. Right. That, that is so powerful. You're, you're growing something new. You talked about the , the butterfly, the butterfly is not doing the same thing as the, you know, it's , it's , it's new. And I think, have you had times where you've been tempted to say well, you know, this is what I know. So I'll just go back to kind of doing it the same way. How have you stopped yourself from nope. Nope. I'm not doing that. This is not going to be, you know, 25 days a month on an airplane or whatever it might be. What , what did you do to change that path? Because that's, we're all, we all have that siren song. We, for Suzanna and myself, it was credit to Suzanna where I'd be like, Oh, let's do it this way. And she'd be like, honey, that's what, why we're moving away from what you did before is you don't want to go back to it. So can you, can you help folks get their arms around how critical that is, but then what you can do to keep from falling back into that, routine's not the exact right word, but essentially that routine.

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah. Um, you said, you know, when you're tempted, it was less about being tempted and more about, it's such a deep groove, that it's my natural default, you know, it's like, I was the one, like my, my mantra was always, somebody would ask me to do something and I would always say, consider it done. Right. It's done. Right . You know? And so I, it's more, you know, we, we talked about going back and kind of doing an inventory of the times when you felt, when you were completely in flow and the, and the, and the qualities, the things that you were good at there's room for all of it. You know, I think it's very, it's kind of a , a Zen thing to be like, you know, just to, just to be with it and be aware and welcome everything that comes in. I think it's the awareness of when I start to default to pushing, to get things done, and probably the hardest thing you would think it would be the opposite. But the hardest thing in becoming an entrepreneur was giving some of the projects, the space, they needed to be able to take root and to find their own way, because I wanted to make it happen. I wanted to make the phone calls. I wanted to put something in front of it because that's just what I do is like, I'll connect I'll network, I'll get out there. It's like, no, this has to find its way. So I think that there is a, there's a discipline in being aware of when you start to get into that groove and then finding ways to allow things, to take its course and , and the , the irony and all of this it's, the antidote is not doing something. The antidote is doing nothing. And that's, what's so uncomfortable to have that space to say. And you think about what we want for our , our wellness clients, right . For , for the clients that come to us, it's like, you want them just to have that space, that time, that ability to connect, to listen, to understand what comes next for them. It's the same thing in our business. And so I have to constantly remind myself and put myself in my own client's shoes and say, okay, what would I, how would I advise somebody in this spot? And a lot of times it's like, just , just let it be and come back to that when it's time.

Dr. Cooper:

I think this is so valuable. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this , and I'm taking notes here too, for myself. This is great. Great stuff. Um, all right . So one more thing on the business side, just a couple of questions left. How have you gone about growing your business specifically? So you you've talked about it a little bit, but do you recommend a niche? It sounds like maybe you've pursued somewhat of a niche. And if you do recommend that, how did you go about picking your specific one?

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah, so I got great counsel and it was from the same business coach that I worked with early on. And she said, if you try to appeal to everyone, you'll appeal to no one. And so I spent a lot of my time thinking about what she calls the ideal client and that's, it scared me cause I'm like, well, no, I want everyone.

Dr. Cooper:

Clients with checks. Yes. Yeah ,

Kathy Robinson:

Exactly. And , and, you know, and her point was your book and your practices, they can be broadly applied. In fact, you know, I've gotten feedback from men in their twenties that were just like, wow, this was really great. It doesn't negate anybody. All a niche is, is who are you going to be marketing to over a period of time? When I say marketing, I mean, who, who will your products appeal to more like getting to know who that is so you can speak in their language and you can draw those folks to me. So you're right to me that the folks that typically want to work with me are professionals in their forties to sixties who are experiencing some sort of life transition, or they're striving towards a new wellness goal, I've had folks that wanted to train for their first marathon or something like that. But, you know, it gets back to that your own experience of like, why you, and so here they can, these particular folks can be comfortable for all the reasons that we've already covered. So I think that really helped me focus well, what do I want to build? And how do I appeal to these folks. For listeners, I think ways to maybe explore whatever their target market might be is to answer some of the questions that I was asked to answer, which is starting with very simple things. Like who do you feel drawn to help? Um, what type of folks do you love to work with? Um, what type of health or wellness challenges have you had that you had to overcome like that there may be some clues in that , are there clients or people in the, in the life and the, and the work that you do today that you're more drawn to, or are there groups that you volunteer for, you feel at home in. I think once you start to unpack some of these answers, then you can get into more of the business side of, can the services that I'm thinking about help them, you know, is there a market? Um , I think the , the more specific you are, the better it is. When I was writing the book, I had my ideal and I actually, I had somebody in the business world. She doesn't know this, that I use as a guide and I had a male and a female that I would use in my head writing to them. And I still think about them as I am creating of like, is this something so and so would be interested in, would this benefit them. And so I would think about it more as how do you take these, you know, hundreds of ideas and things you can do and really help yourself narrow, narrow, narrow it down. So it becomes actionable. It's just a place to start.

Dr. Cooper:

Wow. I'm kind of sad to see the last question come up here, but let's go and hit it. And then I want to make sure you give best way to contact you. So I've got a note to jot that down as well. Any final words of wisdom to share with the audience? So anything we haven't covered in terms of this transition from, and it's not just corporate life, but kind of former life to becoming a certified health and wellness coach.

Kathy Robinson:

Yeah. You know, I have a quote that's in my office. It says, the life you live is the lesson you teach. And so, you know , as we go through this, just think about , um, you know, how you're showing up for yourself. I really believe that's how we show up for others. You know, gets back to some of the topics we were talking about on pricing and creating your business and what the right fit is for you. But with that as a backdrop, I would, you know, offer these, these few things for your listeners to consider. One is the same principles that we use for wellness also work for business. I touched on this before, but I think it's worth time. It's all trial and error. You know, for me, it's about setting intentions that I can feel emotionally connected to in my business about showing up consistently and doing the best I can on it on a given day. And that varies day to day, I give myself permission to do what I can to be able to apply a growth mindset. So how do we cultivate good business habits and optimism? Because if we're feeling that our clients will feel that, how do we stay accountable to ourselves? And then how do we have compassion for ourselves? Because if we do, then we can have compassion for others. So it's a little mom and apple pie, but I really believe that that's the way I handle my wellness is the way I handle my, my business. The biggest thing I can offer is as a solopreneur, focus is everything. I think about this as an equation, the more discerning I am, the more impact I can have. So a lot of people will share well-intentioned advice. I probably did some of this on this podcast. Things you quote, unquote, should do. You should write a book, start a podcast, write a blog. I mean, the list goes on without realizing the time and effort that it takes to do these things in a way that you can be proud of. So if there was one piece of advice, as you're considering what you can do, take some time to do some visioning, create a high level plan, and really take an honest appraisal of your skills. Pick one thing that best suits you, and then get it done. Invest the time the people in the services that will really help you knock the ball out of the park. That's what gives you the confidence that you need to be able to show up in this new way, and you get to be really proud of the high quality that you've, that you've put out into the world. So I really think it helps to keep checking in with how you're feeling as you're going through this. If you're not loving what you're doing, take some time to understand why and adjust. And lastly, the whole point in wellness and in business is to make positive impact and have a good time while you're doing it. I believe that the secret to a well lived life is enjoying the ride. And that's what I wish for you, Brad, and for all of your listeners.

Dr. Cooper:

Kathy, this was awesome. Thank you so much . I knew it was gonna be good, but you , you crushed it. I mean, so many, so many wise words. How do people follow you to keep track of you ? If they have questions either about coaching career, or I have a feeling you're gonna have some people that are like, I want you to coach me. How do they find you for any of those purposes, Twitter account, website? What's , what's your preference?

Kathy Robinson:

I'll keep it simple. So I would suggest folks go to , AthenaWellness.com. Uh , there, you can take a look. You can see who I am, what I do. There is a free download and overview of the Athena principles and an action plan for those that are interested in wellness. My email address is on there. There's a contact form. I will see everything that comes through anybody from this podcast that mentions this podcast. I will respond to personally. So I'm happy to do that. The book is on Amazon. It's called the Athena Principles, simple wellness practices for overworked professionals, and that's in paperback and ebook. And also if you like my Jersey accent an audio book,

Dr. Cooper:

I love it. I love well Kathy, thank you so much. It was fantastic having you join us so much fun.

Kathy Robinson:

Thank you so much, Brad .

Dr. Cooper:

Didn't you just love that? I had met Kathy previously, so I knew she'd be a good guest, but I had no idea how powerful and encouraging she would be. Thank you for tuning into the number one podcast for health and wellness coaching. Next week's guest is sports medicine and bike fitting legend. Dr. Andy Pruitt, another one you're not gonna want to miss. If you're looking for another option on the health wellness performance front, please take a peek over at youtube.com/coaching channel. Our library of brief encouraging, motivating and educational videos, all freely available has now grown to almost a hundred videos. And we have included some playlists in there that allow you to tap into the specific types you're looking for without having to go through the whole library. Now it's time to venture out on our own journey, take some chances and help make the world a better place. Better than yesterday is up to us starting right now. This is Dr. Bradford Cooper, of the Catalyst Coaching Institute, signing off, make it a great rest of your week. And I'll speak with you soon on the next episode of the Catalyst Health, Wellness, and Performance Coaching podcast, or maybe over on the new YouTube coaching channel.