Fall in LOVE with your career!

Women in Wellness Career Summit

Create gorgeous growth for your blissful business in health & wellness.

Suzanne Monroe

Founder & CEO at The International Association of Wellness Professionals

Suzanne Monroe is the Founder and CEO of the International Association of Wellness Professionals, the global leader in Health and Wellness Coach Training. The IAWP Wellness Coach Certification program provides a world-class education from the industry’s most renowned experts in holistic health, natural medicine, wellness, coaching, entrepreneurship and holistic business. Suzanne is a sought-after speaker in the fields of wellness, coaching and business. She is also the co-author of 101 Ways to Improve Your Life and the creator of Conscious Biz T.V. Visit Suzanne’s Website

Interview Transcript

Dr. Gabby: Welcome Suzanne. Thank you so much for joining us.

Suzanne: Well, thank you Gabby! I’m just so excited to be here and be part of your exciting event. And really, just to see so many women coming together in this field, to share what they’ve learned and to help others with their passion for wellness. I was looking at your event page and just seeing all the amazing women you’ve been able to connect with and line up for this event, it reminds me of when I first got started as a wellness coach and sharing my message. And so, I’m just honored to be here, participating and excited to really share what I’ve learned about creating success in the wellness field in the past decade and how people can really turn their passion into a thriving career and become a wellness leader and make a big impact on others. So, yea! I’m excited to be here.

Dr. Gabby: Awesome! And you already have said so many things that I want to dive into, because I feel like you are a wealth of knowledge and you’ve been a thought a leader and you are creating this community of really professional practitioners, who can all support each other, who can mentor each other, share resources. So, I’m wondering can share a little with us about how you were able to turn your passion into a successful business and why you decided to build this community?

Suzanne: Yes, well I’d love to share my story with everyone, just more as a way to show people what’s possible, because no matter where you are on the journey, I think there’s something you might resonate with. Because, when I first became passionate about wellness, (I’ll just share) I was stuck in a job that, not only didn’t I enjoy doing, but it seemed to go against really every thread in my body about what wellness meant. I was actually in the pharmaceutical industry and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Everyday I woke up and I kind of felt like a fraud. I was trudging off to work everyday, wondering how I was going to get out of this job and really do something that was meaningful to me. Yet, at the same time I didn’t know exactly what that looked like, so I really felt stuck. One day I literally stumbled upon the field of health and wellness coaching and I just knew I was meant to do that. I took the leap, I followed my passion, and my life has never been the same since. But, once I took the leap, I will say, I held on really for the ride of my life. I really could never have guessed what this entrepreneurial journey would have been about, all the challenges and successes too that come on the journey. As you mentioned in my bio, I’ve coauthored a book, I’ve had many appearances on television and I’ve done a lot of speaking. I grew a six figure coaching practice before I went on to do what I’m doing today, which is ultimately found the International Association of Wellness Professionals. We’re home to thousands of wellness coaches and professionals. We have graduates in over 80 countries now, across the globe and it’s just a very exciting time being in the wellness field. Though I’ll share, with all these success along the way, there were a lot of bumps along the way and I want to be transparent about that. I had to really build my own foundation that would support me to create success, and I had to keep moving on. “Every time you fall down, you have to keep getting up,” you’ve heard that before, I really had to keep finding the way. So, there were a lot of life lessons learned and hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of those today. Business lessons learned as well. But, I’ve really come to realize that there’s three things that a person needs if they want to create success in the wellness field and that’s what I’m really looking forward to sharing today, what those three steps are to really help people, to create the foundation they need to go on to do whatever it is they’re meant to do.

Dr. Gabby: I’m very excited to here about the three steps. I know you’re going to walk the listeners through this. So, let’s get started. What is step number one?

Suzanne: I’m excited to jump in to that. I do just want to mention though, this call is really for I think two groups of people, it’s really for anybody who’s already in the health and wellness or holistic field, which I think a lot of your participants are.

Dr. Gabby: Yes.

Suzanne: They’re already helping people in some way; they really want to go to the next level. But I also want to recognize the group of people that might be chiming in here Gabby, who are people following what you’re doing and they’re like “Gosh! I want to be in the wellness field. I’m really passionate about this and I want to make a career change.” This is really for those folks too, because this is about getting started on the right foot. So, with Gabby’s event here, you’re going to walk away with so many amazing ideas and strategies and advice from the speakers for that I’m sure of. She’s put together a fantastic event. I really want to remind people about that foundation that literally starts with the first step. And, the first step is gaining a truly holistic education in wellness. Now, what exactly do I mean by this? Because, today people really want the support of someone who has a broad understanding in a variety of health concerns and ways of healing and can really support them to customizing and designing their lifestyle plan. So, for example if you go to a traditional doctor, you’re likely going to be presented with one option or one approach. It’s usually a conventional medicine approach, not necessarily bad, but kind of one-way. Now, if you go to a different kind of practitioner who’s a specialist in something, could be a massage therapist, or chiropractor, or nutritionist, or a personal trainer, you might get a more preventative option but usually it’s going to be pretty focused on whatever their background or training is. So most people end up if the want to go outside of conventional medicine, they have to go to a bunch of practitioners to really piece together a lifestyle plan or wellness plan. And, they might go on the internet and they’re just going to be overloaded there with information. But, in the wellness field right now, we really have this opportunity to step in and fully support people with what they’re looking for. And, wellness coaches can do that, because if they are trained with a holistic education they can really provide that support and road map and plan for people. Just as an example, when I was working in the corporate world, I was not living a very healthy lifestyle at all. I ate fast food, I had major sugar cravings, I was addicted to caffeine, I was just completely stressed out in my job. I actually used to work for this consulting firm where people would sleep under their desk at night; they’d never go home. It was very scary when I saw my boss in his pajama pants one day. Yes, very frightening. I will say I never got that far, because I actually burnt out before that happened to me. But, if I had been told to just exercise more or eat better or do one approach, it probably wouldn’t have worked. In fact I did try those things. There were missing pieces and the reason is, everything in our lives is tied together. So, for me my sugar cravings weren’t just a nutrition issue, they were also tied to my stress at work. And, my stress at work was tied to my nutrition, but also my relationships. So, a truly holistic perspective looks at how all of these things in our life are tied together. This is something at the IAWP we call “core foods,” it’s all the areas of our lives like career, relationship, spirituality, fitness, mindset, all these things that are tied to our wellness, it goes beyond just the food we are eating. Right? So, if people really want to create success in a wellness career helping others, you want to be that person who can really connect all those dots and learning how to address all the areas of a person’s health, how it fits together, this is something at the IAWP we call “wellness 360,” because it’s really a 360 holistic approach to a person’s life. And, without it, your clients are not going to be able to make lasting changes. So, I really highly recommend for people who are passionate about this field to really have that truly holistic education, so they can fully support their clients. I’m assuming a lot of people listening to this are on that path already.

Dr. Gabby: Yeah, I agree with you. That’s one of the exciting things about being a Professor of Holistic Health, is that we get to have this 360 conversation and look at all the systems and the way that they interact with each other, and the way that if there’s an imbalance in one it throws off the whole system. So, that really resonates with me as something that’s critical for your education.

Suzanne: Absolutely! You’re right, if one things off in one area, it affects something else. The average person out there does not know how to connect the dots around that. So, that’s what I think is a really exciting opportunity we have to really be that for person for people and help them to connect those dots, which kind of brings me to my second step. Which is coach training that produces real lasting results, and this is what I call the number one secret to creating lasting transformation for your clients. What do I mean by this? First of all, I’ll say the term “coaching” is so widely used now, there’s so many different types of coaches, coach training programs. I think people think there’s a standard method of coaching, that all coaches learn, and that’s just absolutely not true. Because, the biggest problem is that most coach training programs are teaching their students what are more theoretical models. So, you read a lot of theories in books on coaching and you’re really focused on what’s behavior change rather than what I consider more inner change. So, when working with a client, it can become very surface level. And, the reason I know this is, we have a lot of coaches that come to IAWP who are very frustrated, they’ve graduated from a coach training program, yet they still don’t know how to really get in there with their clients and help them make those changes that stick. They don’t have that confidence and they end up kind of feeling like an advice giver or even like a cheerleader; someone who has all this knowledge, but when they tell their clients what to do, they don’t always see them doing it, and it really can become a challenge for them in their business. So, this is just simply one of those things that you don’t know what you don’t know and I mean, you wouldn’t know to really ask these types of questions before you got trained as a coach, you don’t really realize it until it’s too late. You’re sitting in front of your clients and the only thing you know to do is to share with them all the knowledge that you’ve learned. And, I share this because this actually happened to me. I was trained to be a coach, but once I started working with people, I didn’t have real tools to really help them. I had a lot of knowledge, I knew how to be a coach, but I didn’t really know how to be a truly effective coach. So, I had to go out and figure it out on my own. I studied a lot in psychology and how the brain works. I worked with lots of clients over the years. I ended up developing my own method, which is now part of the IAWP’s Wellness Coach Certification Program. We call it “The Core Coaching Method,” and what that’s all about is getting to the core issue for people. So that, given all the knowledge and great information that you have to share with them as a person in the wellness field, that when you do go to give them that advice they actually can use it. They can see it through; they can make a change. So, let me just share two more practical tips for everybody on this that I think will help anybody on the call who is actually working with clients in some sort of coaching capacity today, even if you’re not officially trained as a coach, something that you can walk away with today. The first is, remember that people don’t want to be told what to do. So, you can have all the best knowledge in the world and the best advice to give someone, but it’s not going to matter without the person being able to make the change. And, the reason for this is that people don’t want to be told what to do. I mean right? Who wants to be told what to do? But, it’s actually it’s disempowering, because think of it, we have access to all the information in the world today. If we want to be told what to do, we can just go out and get the answer for ourselves. But, people, your clients they really need more than advice. They need someone who can really support them to finding out what’s really finding out what’s standing in their way and usually it’s not obvious, which is why they you need you as their advocate, their guide, their wellness coach to help them uncover what it is. Which brings me to the second tip, which is become a guide, not a guru. I’ll say that again; become a guide, not a guru. I really want everyone on the call participating to sit, think of yourself as a guide first and foremost, not a guru. So, if you try to be the guru, that means you’re trying to be the expert, you’re trying to be the person who has all the information and you’re going to end up spending most of your time talking and telling people what to do. You’re going to be doing this partially because you really want to help people and you have a lot to share, but part of it is going to allow you to sort of be their leader, to sound smart and kind of keep you feeling like, “Hey, I know what I’m doing.” But, you’re going to find that, sure some people are going to go ahead with that information and try to implement, but a lot of people, they’re not going to be able to make it stick. Unfortunately, the reason that this is so important is that I’ve seen this happen so many times, we’ve got so many talented people who do have so much knowledge and information to share, but when they start working with clients and they don’t see clients really integrating the information they reflect it back on themselves. They start to lose confidence, you like in bed at night wondering, “Why is no one getting real results? Maybe I’m not that good at what I do.” When in fact you are, but you need to shift from being a guru to a guide, so you can help people have totally different results. Because, a coach who is a guide learns how to guide their clients to an inner level and that’s the place where (a lot of people call this the subconscious mind Gabby) we can help people really find their truth. That’s where we find out what’s really holding people back, so when we layer on the advice later, if we’ve gotten to that deeper level with people, that’s what’s going to make it stick. I’d love to just share a quick example here of this, because I once had a client who, she wanted to lose weight. She had tried everything; she had been doing this for years. She would lose some weight and it would all come back. Everyone she worked with had given her tons of advice, they told her what foods to eat, what to eat, exercises to do, diets to try, she had read every book, tried everything out there. When she finally came to me, she was pretty much at her wits end. She was about to really give up. I didn’t give her any advice or diets to try or foods to eat, though there were a lot of things I wanted to say, I started with again, this Core Coaching Method with her, to help her dig deeper. What we found out is, in that other layer of herself, she was actually afraid to lose weight. Losing weight meant that she might actually be attractive to men and we found out that she was afraid to be attractive to men, because she had gone through a really horrible relationship years prior, that she had never really healed from and so, she was carrying around with her this idea that men were no good. And so for her, if she were to try anything it would work for a little while, but on a deeper level she didn’t want to lose the weight. A part of her was resisting it, but once we go in there and found that we were able to work from that place and once we’d healed that, then we could layer on the advice and she was able to make those changes and she was able to lose the weight and keep it off. Because, her entire being at that point, really understood what it meant for her. So, that’s just an example of how important it is to be able to go to that place with clients, to help them create lasting, real results and transformation. That’s what I mean by this second step. Being able to work with people to create these types of lasting result, are going to help you as wellness create lasting relationships. You’re also going to get a lot of referrals, because people are going to have really big results. This can help you become really the go to expert in what it is that you want to help people with.

Dr. Gabby: Yeah, that really resonates with me as well. One of our other speakers mentioned that the value that you create, comes from this transformation process. If people see a change, they value what you do and then that value translates into value for your business. You know, they want to keep coming back for services; they want to refer your services. It’s something that they value, which equates in more customers, more money, more prosperity. If that’s working, then the rest of the business sort of falls into place.

Suzanne: Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely about that value for people and being able to go to that place with them is going to help you to guide them to the result that they want, for sure.

Dr. Gabby: And then the third step in the process, what is the third step to creating success?

Suzanne: Well, the third step is holistic business and training support for entrepreneurs. As you know, most wellness professionals and coaches are not trained in business and it’s not why you decided to go in business for yourself. You’re passionate about wellness and health, not marketing and sales I’m sure. But in 99% of the cases, you’re going to have to know how to run the business as an entrepreneur really. Because, most wellness professionals are in business for themselves and so, you’re going to need to know about marketing and sales and financials and operations and a whole lot of other things that, maybe right now don’t sound too exciting. But, this is the biggest pain point I see for wellness professionals today. It’s actually why the IAWP was born. I saw so many of my fellow colleagues struggling with how to get the word out about their business. I saw a lot of people, really talented people, give up on their passion. This made me really sad because, without the business training and support and without knowing how to attract clients and really keep your business growing, it’s impossible to stay in business. And, it’s actually one of the biggest myths to creating success that’s out there in the wellness field today, people are being told that if they go out and get an education in wellness, that they’re going to be able to help people. It’s just absolutely not true, because you can’t help people if you don’t know how to reach them. So, most people don’t tell you that you also need to get training in business and specifically entrepreneurial business training. And, I think also specifically holistic business training, because this is what’s really going to speak to you and resonate with you and allow you to integrate it, so that it’s something that you can bring into your life and your business. At the IAWP we teach something that’s called “The Business Breakthrough System” to our students, it includes everything they need to know about how to be successful as a wellness coach and really create a business as an entrepreneur. We give away over 200 done for you tools and blueprints and scripts that they can use. It’s basically so people don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I want to share with everybody right now, something they can walk away with after this call and implement right away. It’s called “The Discovery Session System.” Now, I don’t have time to walk you through the entire system, but I want to give you a couple of golden nuggets here, because I think if you’re someone who’s listening this, who’s offering consultations right now, whether it’s coaching sessions or other types of consults, then I think this something that’s really going to help you make a big shift. There’s two things you need to know. The first is, if you are right now offering something called “a free consult,” I want you to stop. Why? You’re probably wondering. This is what I was told to do to get clients too, so I’m sure a lot of people are offering free consults. But, what does the words “free consult” imply? It implies you’re going to be giving away free advice and you’re going to consult or solve a problem. Well, what’s the problem with that? Well, the problem with that is that you’re going to spend too much time talking and not enough time listening in that free session, and you’re going to talk too much. Because, you’re going to think that you need to give out free advice to really prove to the person in front of you, your potential client that you actually know something and you can help them. What happens though, is this leads to the client getting really overloaded with too much information to actually digest, instead of deciding if they should actually work with you, they end up deciding to think about it, because they’re brain is actually full of information and advice when you get to that point. So, for anyone who’s listening to this, this is resonating with, just kind of nod your head right now “Oh yeah, I am somebody who hears the words “I have to think about it” a lot” from your clients. If that’s you, this is one of the reasons they have to think about it after having talked with you, because you’ve talked too much. Ok, so this is really a mindset shift, so instead of a free consult what I want you to do is offer a “discovery session,” that discovers what their problem is and discovers if you can help them solve it. So, we’re discovering the problem; we’re discovering if we can help them solve it, but we’re not starting to solve it, and it’s very different than a free consult in a couple ways. First of all, it really takes the pressure off of you, you don’t need to solve the problem in 30 minutes or less, you don’t need to prove yourself, right? It allows you to ask a lot of questions, they have to be the right questions, but you can determine what your client’s challenges are and if you can help solve it for him or her. So, if you’re noticing right now that a lot of your clients are asking you a lot of questions, you’re likely not positioning your consultations correctly. Because, in a discovery session you are doing the questioning, but your potential client is doing most of the talking and you are listening. The other thing I love about discovery sessions Gabby, the process that we teach, is that it really helps you to not feel salesy. I know a lot of holistic practitioners and wellness professionals, this is one reason they kind of reject the whole business side of it, it feels kind of salesy when they have to do the marketing side or the sales side. In this case, you’re not actually trying to get something from someone, like having them sign up with you, right? So what it does in the session, it takes that desperate energy out of it, instead you’re coming from more of an empowered place, it’s a curious place, and it’s going to help you actually receive instead of trying to get. So, wellness professionals really need this type of holistic business training, that can fit with their sale and they can relate to, because it allows them to be something they can integrate into what their doing and then go on to create success. That’s the first step.

Dr. Gabby: Yeah, I definitely hear that quite a bit from the women that I work with, that there is a discomfort in the sales process and they’re coming from a place of service and they’re coming from a place of wanting to help and if it feels too salesy it feels too desperate and uncomfortable.

Suzanne: Yeah, and I love what you just said there, “they’re coming from a place of service,” because that’s what people do once they have a client. You know, wellness professionals are coming from a place of service, that’s why they’re in this field. So, I want people to come from a place of service in that initial consultation too and that allows you to really discover, for both of you, if it’s the right fit and it just puts you in a totally different position. We don’t have time to get into all the types of questions that you ask, but the process is that we teach at the IAWP really allows you to ask the right questions to open someone up. And often times, people have never had an experience like this before, both you as the professional or the coach and the client as well. They’ve never had this opportunity to answer these kinds of questions. And so, it’s a really amazing process for everyone and it really speaks to what you said Gabby; it allows you to come from a place of service.

Dr. Gabby: Yeah, that sounds very empowering. I agree that many of the practitioners are so passionate about health and wellness that they obsessively read everything they can about nutrition and about yoga and about life balance and stress management, and when it comes down to the actual logistics and administration of the business they’re not necessarily information and the support that they need, which is why we’re having this conversation, right? So that they can join IAWP and find resources to address that pain point as you described it.

Suzanne: I’m glad you said that because, I’ll just say, whatever your pain point is, as you’re listening to these calls, usually the thing you’re rejecting most, the thing that’s the most pain you don’t want to go into, that’s where you actually need to go. That’s where your greatest learning is going to happen and really that’s what’s going to catapult you to the next level. So whatever’s coming up right now for resistance, rejection, the stuff you don’t want to do, that’s where I encourage you to turn into that, lean into that. Get support to do it, but to go there next.

Dr. Gabby: Yeah, that’s great advice for all aspects of our life, not just our business, but our relationships and everything. So, tell me a little bit about how our listeners can get involved and what resources you have to share with them today?

Suzanne: Yes, absolutely. Well, I actually have a couple of exciting things I want to share with your community. First is, if what I’ve been sharing with you today is resonating with you, you’re like “I really need to get this foundation in place,” you want to learn more about these three steps to creating success and really what we call “The Three Pillars of Learning” at the IAWP, then I would recommend for you to get our complementary Wellness Coach Career Kit. This is a kit; it contains lots of information for you to dive into. It contains not only our course catalogue, but also lots of interactive tools, that I think people on the call would like. We have our income calculator, it allows you to play with different packages and prices to see what your income can be. There’s a webinar training and other tips on creating success. And, to get to The Wellness Coach Career Kit, you can go to this link it’s tinyurl.com/IAWP-Gabby.

Dr. Gabby: I love that url!

Suzanne: Yeah, it is. Well, here we are together, today right? So, hopefully that will be easy for people to remember. You know what? I’ll say so that’s what I really recommend everybody on this call doing. But, there’s some of you that, this is more than resonating for. So, I’m going to invite you not only to get the free gift, but while you’re there, to take the next step and schedule a Wellness Coach Strategy Session.” This is a one-hour session with one of our admissions advisors, who’s really there to help you get clear on your wellness career goals. So, again whether you’re just starting in this field, you want to make a transition to this field, or if you’ve been in practice for a while and you’re trying to figure out what your next big leap is, this session is going to help you get clear on that. And so, to schedule that session, you can just go to that same link again (tinyurl.com/IAWP-Gabby) and once you’re inside there, you’ll see a button to schedule your chat. So, that’s what I’d recommend for people who are kind of like, “I’m ready to go to the next level.” Again though, it’s tinyurl.com/IAWP-Gabby.

Dr. Gabby: That’s so awesome and really generous. Because, I think that having those conversations can create so much clarity and reassurance that we are on the right path and we shouldn’t give up, and there’s people who can mentor us and help us to just tweak what we’re doing, and then create that success that we’re looking for.

Suzanne: Yeah, absolutely. Well good. I hope that is something helpful for everybody as a next step, for sure.

Dr. Gabby: Yeah, absolutely. So, everybody has to go check out that link and check out IAWP for world renowned lectures, and training in holistic health, natural medicine, entrepreneurship, holistic business. I am so grateful to Suzanne for being here with us today and for The Three Steps to Creating Success that she shared with us. Thank you so much Suzanne for joining us.

Suzanne: Thank you so much for having me Gabby. And, I just want to encourage everybody listening to your event, to stay on their path. One of the greatest gifts of being in business is that it really can be a personal journey for you to learn so much about yourself on the journey. So, take that bigger perspective and keep growing with it and don’t turn back, just take the leap and keep taking one step forward. Thanks so much for having me as a part of your event.

Dr. Gabby: It was really great to speak with you. Thanks Suzanne.


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