Inspired by her own health transformation after eliminating processed foods from her diet and becoming a yoga-loving vegan, Bianca knew she had to share what she had learned with as many people as she could. She now works with others through health coaching, yoga instruction and personal training. Her interview inspires us to let go of our own fear and self-doubt and to step away from comparing ourselves to others around us.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
I went through a big personal evolution from drinking, smoking party girl, to vegan, yoga-teaching teetotaler, and it was during this time that I started researching about the food that we eat. I was so shocked at everything I was learning about the food industry, and the food products that people eat without even questioning it. Once I cut all these processed foods out of my own diet and noticed how great I felt, I realized that there is a world of people out there that have no idea how good their bodies are supposed to feel! After going through my own transformation, I knew I had to share what I had learned with as many people as possible.
Tell us about your business or practice.
I have three areas of expertise – health coaching, yoga teaching, and personal training. Clients can come to me for one, or for all three, depending on what their goals are and what they’re hoping to achieve.
The personal training and yoga side of things takes place outdoors, with some group yoga classes also taking place indoors. The health coaching is slightly different, and takes place at my home or in the homes of my clients.
My aim is to show people how amazing their bodies really are, and help them develop a connection to their physical self so they learn what their body needs and make healthy choices through that education.
What is your current business model?
I provide health coaching services to client one-on-one, in person or virtually. I have three programs which are 3 months, 6 months, and a one-off session. Clients can choose to pay the total amount upfront, or on a monthly basis.
I provide yoga teaching to students one-on-one, and also in a group class capacity. These sessions are all paid at the time, with a 10 class/session pass also available.
Personal training is also one-on-one, or in a small group capacity. Sessions are paid for at the time, with a 10 session pass available.
What has been one of your favorite moments as a business owner thus far?
As a health coach it would have to be working with one of my clients who suffered from terrible endometriosis, as well as some pretty big self-love issues. I watched her blossom over 3 months into this confident, happy girl full of passion for life! Her endometriosis symptoms all but disappeared and she became the poster girl for healthy living. We also became great friends and I feel really honored to have met her.
As a business owner, it is definitely the feeling of moving from running this business part time, to quitting my day job and going fulltime. To be able to completely immerse myself in something I feel so passionate about is just unbelievable – I still can’t believe it’s real!
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business or practice?
Learning how to market myself, and dealing with the fear and self-doubt I had.
How have you overcome those challenges?
The fear and self-doubt I think is still there somewhere in the background, but I’ve done a fair bit of reading, meditating, and talking to other people in the same situation and this has helped a LOT. Interestingly, in dealing with the fear and self-doubt, this has also helped me to be more confident at marketing myself which I no longer struggle with.
How do you find new clients?
I advertise on facebook, and I have posters in cafes and crystal and alternative healing shops. I also have a website and a blog that attracts people to my services.
What have you found to be most effective in securing new clients to sign up for your services?
Definitely the free health history/discovery session. This helps with all of my modalities – health coaching, yoga and personal training. I think when people know that you are taking time out just to talk to them, they can tell that you’re genuine and really want to help. Plus showing kindness during these sessions too, which is often all someone really needs.
What do you do to keep your existing clients engaged in the long term?
I have a newsletter that I email once every couple of weeks, and I update my Facebook page daily to keep people informed with what’s happening, as well as giving out information and other tidbits. I also email my clients directly on a regular basis to follow up with them and keep connected, and post regular blog posts.
As your own boss, what is your best strategy for staying focused and productive during your workday?
I am the queen of to-do lists! I also have an electronic day planner that sends reminders so I always know what I should be doing at any time. I’m naturally quite a focused person so I don’t get distracted easily, plus I tell my husband everything I’ve done that day so that keeps me accountable as well.
If you could start your business over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?
At this stage, nothing. Maybe ask me again in a couple of years!
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Comparing my journey to other people around me. All that does is create negativity and cause you to be really down on yourself – not a good move.
Also, telling myself little stories and then believing them and allowing them to guide me – the negative self-talk. Telling myself that I wasn’t creative, that I couldn’t design any of my own stuff. Or convincing myself that I had ‘competition’ and I had to view other people in the industry negatively. None of that was true at all. Don’t listen to your ego!
What are the top three business tools or resources you couldn’t live without?
Facebook, my electronic day planner and my smart phone!
What has been your most effective method for growing your business?
Just getting out there and doing it! Sitting inside on your computer is great, but it’s that connection with real people that allows them to get to know you and see who you really are. Once I started getting out, taking part in different events and connecting with other people in the wellness industry, I met so many new people and I then had the opportunity to talk about what I do and make real impressions.
In building your business, was there any specific mistake you made, “oops!” moment, or “I can’t believe I did that!” time that you look back and laugh at now?
When I first started my business I was still in the process of going through my self-transformation, and I was still smoking! It was awful, I was always racked with guilt and trying to time my cigarettes so that I didn’t stink of smoke when I met with a client. I don’t know how I did that – but it was a great push to get me to quit. That was over a year ago now and I haven’t looked back!
What is your favorite indulgence?
Raw vegan desserts, usually something chocolatey and delicious. Raw cacao and avocado are my saviors!
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’ve traveled around a lot, but as a vegan I can’t go to crazy with my food choices – no fried scorpions or anything here! I once ate a traditional Nepalese curry in Kathmandu and it tasted like dishwashing detergent (no offense Nepal!).
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
I can’t choose one, everywhere I’ve been to has been memorable for so many different reasons. I’d say that Costa Rica, Peru, Nepal, Argentina, and Cambodia are pretty high on my list, as well as Bali because I got engaged there and I also did my yoga teacher training there.
Last book you read?
Russell Brand’s Revolution. I’m a big fan of his.
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Avocados. I’m obsessed.
What is your go-to breakfast?
A banana smoothie with macadamia milk and a bucket load of superfoods – raw cacao powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, dulse flakes, spirulina, coconut oil and whatever else I can find to throw in.
What do you find most fascinating about the human body?
It’s ability to heal itself, and just how interconnected everything is! It really is incredible when you think that at any moment, you have trillions of cells all working towards keeping you as healthy as you can possibly be, all doing their own independent function to better the collective organism. Totally mind blowing!
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
Having the creative and financial freedom to develop something exactly the way I want it to be, with zero limitations. I was in a government position beforehand and everything was so structured, procedures had to be followed, and of course you only earn the salary you’re given. Being out of that environment I realized that the only limitations are the ones I put on myself and I am in charge of my own success, so I am able to create that any way I choose! It’s incredibly liberating.
Bianca MacLachlan is a health coach, yoga teacher and personal trainer based out of Karratha, Western Australia. You can find out more about Bianca and her business, Vitality Health Coaching, by visiting www.Vitalityhealthcoaching.com.au.