Cate: Okay, here we are. Wellness Career Coaching Podcast episodes with me, Cate Stillman of YogaHealer.com, Amanda Cook of WellpreneurOnline.com and Racheal Cook of TheYogipreneur.com.
What I noticed, what was happening in the online space is that we had a lot of crossover, so I decided that we should get together. Once we got together, we were like, “Oh, let’s make podcasts,” — because we like making podcasts — to talk about some of the things that we wanted to talk about with each other, figuring that a lot of you would just want to have an ear to the conversation.
That is my intro. That’s why we’re here and that’s what we’re here to do. Our first topic is on competition versus collaboration. We really just want to look at what some of the bigger differences are, what some of the things that we’re seeing within the wellness career economy are and how we want to show up in this space.
What are the differences that really set me apart from others in my space?
Amanda: Hey, thanks. This is really fun to do this. What an awesome topic because we’re collaborating to talk about collaboration.
Racheal: Totally. What I really love is that all of us work in a similar space, but we all work in very different ways. Can we just quickly introduce what we each do? We have a little bit different approach and I know, for me over at The Yogipreneur, I’m focusing specifically on yoga teachers who want to create an amazing yoga career outside of a studio. They’re looking for innovative business models to create a professional yoga career that can sustain them in the lifestyle they desire.
That’s where I come in. Cate, you have a slightly different approach.
Cate: Yes, I do. I do two things with the Yoga Teacher Wellness Pro type of person. One is I help them develop a signature system, if they have that in them. That’s a much more deep, dive transformational program that they want to create or refine or they have it already, but they’re not making the income they want from it. That’s A.
B is, I have a yoga health coaching certification program in which I train yoga teachers and wellness pros. We actually have a few doctors in there, lots of nurses as well, that have a holistic mindset. I train them how to coach people through the 10 habits of body thrive and how to run the same business model that we use in Signature System, so that they can double their income.
Amanda: I am not a yoga teacher at all. I do digital marketing. That’s my thing. I love marketing. I do marketing for the wellness industry and I’m trained as a health coach. I just teach wellness entrepreneurs how to build a tribe online, how to use content marketing to grow their email list and then how to, basically convert those website visitors into paying clients. Everything about online marketing for the wellness industry.
Racheal: I love that because something I saw when I launched The Yogipreneur in 2008 was I thought I was just going to be talking to yoga teachers. But then it didn’t take very long until it was like, “I’m a yoga teacher/health coach,” “I’m a yoga teacher/life coach,” “I’m a yoga teacher/essential oil specialist.” I mean, whatever. There’s a lot of hybrids.
I think it really plays really beautifully that we all have these little ways that we’re working in this industry. I think it actually surprises a lot of people when they see us collaborating or when they see other people collaborate at this level because they might think that we’re competition. I found the opposite.
I found the more that I collaborate, the more opportunities I get to both expand my reach and create new opportunities just to co-create things like this.
It could be co-creating a free way to support our communities or even co-creating paid offerings, which I think can be amazing.
Amanda: I don’t know what you guys have experienced, but I noticed — I work with a lot of health coaches, I think just because that was my training so I tend to attract a lot of them. People get really scared about having other health coaches step on their toes. Like, “Oh, they’re going to take all my clients,” or, “There’s already a health coach in my town,” or, “There’s already somebody doing that online; that kind of health coaching,” and they kind of get really scared about and just rule it out. It’s like that opportunity is now gone.
I’m curious if you guys have felt that, too. I think, just like any kind of business online, certainly there’s so much to go around, there’s so many clients to go around because different people — it’s not just your specialty. It’s you. Different people resonate with you personally, so it doesn’t even matter if there’s other people doing the same thing because your clients will resonate with how you do it.
I’m curious of you guys’ experience with that.
Cate: I always just like to back, back, back it all up. Go way — like a massive, giant step, backward. We play a lot of Mother May I. I have an eight year old. I have, “Mother, may we take a giant step back.” Right? The way that we’re going to approach our business, our career, our offerings is the way, usually, we’re approaching everything in our life. I’m sure there’s a yoga sutra about that. The way you do something is the way you do everything.
If we look at, “Oh, wow. I’m coming from a contracted place in relationship to my peer group,” — really, probably the people I have the most in common with in the world. Other people who are just like me, who probably had massive health transformation, who probably are living a pretty awake, vibrate life or want to be or really want to be and maybe are not, but wanting to and are wanting to help other people. They’re like, “Wow. I have more in common with my competition than really almost anyone else in the world and I’m creating a mentally antagonistic relationship with them.” Who else am I creating — “Oh, I’m creating an antagonistic relationship with myself as well, too.” Or with my whatever — partner/child/fill in the blank.
When we look at that and we look at that and we just take that big step back, it’s such an invitation to see what my general relationship with the life energy itself is. I mean, coming from a massively expansive place where we all are — at some level — we are all one. We are all of the same consciousness. We’re all sharing a planet. We all share the same evolutionary history in general. Why we’re drawn to this path is to, hopefully, help other people along in their journey of, basically, being in a more of a disease-free state or making the best of a bad situation. Living, ultimately, a life of freedom and thrive and connectivity and love and really evolving, not just as a species, but as a planet.
That’s what we’re doing here. We really are awake to that. The next question is:
Who can I help the most?
Usually, that leads us to other people who are working in a similar niche and have learned a ton and that can actually make our work so much more effective and interconnected.
Racheal: I love that you said that, Cate, because what comes up for me is just this difference between a scarcity mindset and an abundance mindset. A scarcity mindset is saying, “There’s only so much to go around, this is how big the pie is and it’s my job to get the biggest piece of pie as possible. The only way to do that is to look at everybody as the competition.” But, an abundance mindset says, “The size of the pie can grow and the more that we can collaborate and support one another, we can actually reach more people and grow our collective, we can grow our audience, we can raise the awareness of people who really need our help.”
I think one thing that comes up to me is that, especially the new Yoga in America study that just came out, the growth rate in the yoga field, specifically, is just exponential. If anything, we are being told, statistically with all this research, the pie is growing. The pie is growing so much and we’re not even… all we have to do — we don’t even have to work that hard to tap into it, but we just have to find how we can get connected to that. The easiest way I’ve always found to get connected to that is finding other people who are talking to the same types of people and compounding our effect, compounding our impact, simply by working together.
Amanda: I think it would be interesting to talk about… if somebody out there listening likes this idea. I think when you’re starting out, you can feel very alone, especially if you don’t have a lot of friends that are in this holistic/wellness world. I know I didn’t when I started and I was the weird person in the corporate job that was interested in eating weird food.
If somebody out there listening is interested in this idea of collaboration, where do you even start to find people? How can you go about attracting potential collaborators?
Cate: I have a tip that works every time.
Amanda: Tell me.
Cate: Find who you’re jealous of. Right? It’s so interesting, right? There’s people you’re attracted to naturally, but then there’s also people who you’re like, “I’m a little jealous.” The interesting thing about the jealousy is that it’s like it’s because you want something that they have and you don’t have it yet. It’s a part of yourself you haven’t actualized, so it feels disowned. Then we contract and you’re like, “Oh, gosh. She’s all over the internet, posting these yoga pictures. It just pisses me off.”
But then it’s like, “I want to be all over the internet posting yoga pictures because I’m even better at hanumanasana,” or whatever. There’s that thing.
People listening may be like, “Cate, what the bleep?” But it’s like, “Oh, wow. I just felt that. There’s someone I can reach out to.”
Amanda: That’s true because if you don’t feel it — I mean, if you really didn’t want what that person had, you wouldn’t feel jealous because you’d be like, “Oh, well, that’s nice for them. But whatever.” Yeah, that’s great.
Cate: You might not even notice it. I mean, I don’t even notice it half the time. It’s just… there’s too many other things that are like… right?
Racheal: Yeah. But, when you’re first getting started, you notice it because it just feels like they’re already doing it. “What can I do? If they’re already doing it, what else could I possibly do? Can I do that better? I don’t know if I can do that better?”
I think one of the things that I always tell my students is you can tell what you like about what they’re doing. You can tell that this part of what they’re doing, you really are admiring. But, what do you not like about the way that they’re approaching something? I think this is just a slight mindset shift, not meant to be negative or critical, but it’s meant to help you figure out how you can be different and how you can stand out a little bit more.
If I’m looking… even in my role, I can tell the difference between me and all of you, simply because I know where my point of view might differ or where I would approach something differently. I think the more you can look at them and say, “Okay, this is all the stuff I like. But here’s the things that maybe I don’t agree with that point of view. Or maybe there’s something I would do differently if I were doing it. Maybe I would word it differently or just have a different approach.” The more you can hone in on that, I find the easier it is to realize we can actually share the same space because we have different points of view and that helps people understand what makes us different.
Amanda: I think it’s really important to have this attitude of curiosity. That’s what I’m always telling my clients: “Just be curious about it.” I just love being — I’m a very curious person. Especially when you’re starting off and you’re trying to find your place in the business world, however you can be curious and a detective and actually go out and…
You go onto social media and when you see this person doing these amazing yoga poses, instead of just being like, “I can’t believe she’s doing that. I could never be that good,” and starting to beat ourselves up like so many of us do, instead, being like, “Look at that. That really seems to be working for her. Where is she hanging out online? Where are people resonating with her? What is she doing?”
I think the same thing can apply to looking for partners. Being really curious. Who is out there doing awesome things? What are they doing? How is that working? Just be really open to it and then seeing where — you’ll start to see, “Oh, that could be a really good fit with me,” and then maybe using Cate’s jealously thing and that triggers something in you are you’re like, “Cool. She might be a really good person to connect with.”
Amanda: I think we need to get out of this… that’s a competitive mindset of being like, “Look what they’re doing,” and then letting it affect what you do because it makes you feel bad about yourself. I think just switching it to being like a detective, for me, it just lightens things up.
Cate: Oh, yeah.
Racheal: I really like that. One of the tricks I have for, especially, my students who are ready to blog or go online, is to take the person they’re following and actually go to them. Then, wherever those people show up online, I’m like, “That’s your list of places to pitch yourself for guest posts or for interviews or whatever.” It’s amazing. They’re like, “Holy cow. There’s all these people in all these locations already saying, ‘We want to showcase great people,’” They already like the topics, so it just makes it easier to get that in.
Well, you could do that locally, too. Just think about the places that regularly hosts health or wellness or yoga events. Chances are, if they’re already hosting those types of events, whether it’s workshops or classes or whatever, they would be open to collaborating with you. It just takes a little bit of research on the Google to figure out where those spaces are and then you don’t have to work so hard to find them; you don’t have to work so hard to do the research from scratch. Just think about who is the most popular workshop teacher in your town and where are they all going.
Amanda: I just wanted to bring the conversation to… as we look at different ways to not feel the competitive edge, right? I think we’ve addressed that a little bit: how to actually get grounded in who you are and how to differentiate and how to start to reach out to those that are potentially going to be good networking partners.
But let’s look, too, at just the tools around… to me, competition versus collaboration, in terms of mindset, there’s a shift into “how can I be useful.” Who is under-served? If I were not to do the work that I want to do at the deepest level I want to do it, what population would be served? Who can I help? How can I be useful? Then, letting that impulse guide us.
What we might find there, too, is that we’re led into different markets than where other popular people are. We might find that we’re on a road that’s less traveled, but is very authentic to who we are and the way that we want to do work. We don’t just need to… if you want to imitate what other people are doing. Right?
What we might find — and this is like, “Oh, wow. I want to do this in this way and here are these people that need my help. How can I be helpful,” and then all of a sudden, we understand that we’ve made that shift from competition to collaboration.
Racheal: I really love that and it makes me thing of… A very specific example of this and somebody who did this approach is my friend Anna Guest-Jelley at Curvy Yoga.
Amanda: Oh, yeah. Totally.
Racheal: She definitely was somebody who saw a need — because it was her personal need — and started blogging about it. Then that turned into classes and trainings and certifications.
I think a lot of people are afraid to really drive a stake in the ground and say, “This is what I care about. This is who I’m serving.” They’re afraid that it’s going to turn away a lot of people, but I actually find the opposite is true. It helps you to make a name for yourself. Then, it’s so much easier to branch out into other types of things. If that’s something that’s calling to you, if you can see an under-served group in this collective of whoever you’re involved with — whether it’s locally or whatever — and then tap into that, you might focus on them right now and you might focus on them for the rest of your career. It might just be the jumping off point that helps you get your grounding and helps you get your footing and get some traction going so that you can become known in your community and built that credibility and also build that confidence that you need in order to keep moving forward.
Amanda: Can we talk a little bit about how to approach people for a collaboration? Because I know I get a lot of inquiries and pitches to work together — I’m sure you guys do too. A lot of them really put me off because people will just like — I’ve never heard of this person before, and they’ll just send a cold email and be like, “Hey, here’s this awesome thing. Will you do it with me? Will you promote this for me? I don’t know you, but you have a list. Will you send this to it?”
Cate: “Will you be an affiliate?
Amanda: “All you need to do is send six promo emails and promote it on social media 20 times.” I’m just like, “What?”
Amanda: It might be a great thing, but I don’t have enough time — or I choose not to spend my time researching all these things to figure out which one’s the actual good opportunity.
Anyway, that’s not the way to approach a collaboration because… we can talk about that. I know even from my perspective, when I feel like I would want to collaborate with somebody, I also think of protecting my own reputation. I don’t just want to partner with anybody. I feel like there needs to be this little getting to know you period over social media and then you share a program with each other or you can go to somebody’s webinar. You just start to do little things together before you decide, “Yes, let’s partner together on a program.”
Racheal: Absolutely. I mean, here’s the thing: it’s one thing to be just networking acquaintances where you really aren’t giving each other much. But, the minute that you’re asking somebody to do something for you, their reputation is on the line. I mean, you’re getting in bed with that person, effectively. You have to trust them. I’ve heard too many horror stories of people who have said yes and then realized that they did not like the way that was run or it was just out of integrity with their brand and it reflected poorly on them.
The biggest thing I want to start with is this is not a quick fix. This is not a happens overnight. Relationships take time. It’s like any relationship you have. If you want to get to know someone and you start by asking for something, it’s going to turn the vast majority of people off. But, if you just hay, “Hey. I want to get to know you,” or follow up after they did something. I’ve listened to both of your podcasts, I’ve jumped on one of Cate’s webinars. If I were wanting to do more with you guys, that would be what I want to do first. Get to know that person. Get to know their tribe. Get to know their community. Show up at their events. That would really show to me that you are genuinely interested and you’re not just asking because you think I have a big list or a big audience you can tap into. No one wants to feel like they’re being used.
But, if they have somebody who’s already shown they’re genuinely interested, they have learned who you are and they’re approaching you for the first time from a more space of, “I already know a bit about you. I’m already engaged with you on some level,” I’m much more likely to say yes. But, if I’ve never heard form you at all — you’ve never responded to something on Facebook, you’ve never commented on my blog posts, you’ve never hit reply to one of my newsletters to say, “Hey, this really hit home for me.” When you pitch me out of the blue, I’m just going to have my assistant say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Amanda: You notice, right? I guess before I was on this end of the social media, I would think, “They’ll never notice if I’m just tweeting them or commenting on things.” But, you do notice.
I have since met listeners at events or out in person and I’ll know them just because they’ve been actively commenting on stuff. I think if you want to get to know somebody, it is worth it to engage with them or to hit reply on the email. It goes to the assistants a lot of times, but you do get on your radar and then it’s a much better position to be asking for something from them.
Racheal: Even if it goes to their assistant, if their assistant has seen that you hit reply and left a great comment, when you actually request something or you say, “Hey, I have this. I’d love to talk to you about it,” the assistant knows that name. It’s the same thing. You’re still building the relationship with someone on our team. I think it’s still totally worth it.
Amanda: Any Cate wisdom bombs to come? No?
Cate: I mean… I think what ties into this is… Well, I can just tell some stories about how I started reaching out to the teachers in Ayruveda and the gurus. That for me, was a — I started early. It was like 2007. I started with my living Ayruveda course. It was my first big online course. I was a nine month course that still runs every year. I just decided to just reach out to some people that I had been reading their books. “Hey, we’re reading your book in our course. Do you want to come say hi?”
They’re like, “You’re reading my book?” It was like this really cool thing. I’m like, “It’s not really a book club, but we read a bunch of books and I like your book so I put it in there.” They’re like, “Yeah, I want to come.” They’d come and we’d talk in front of 20 people. Those were my first podcasts. Some of them were popular ones, too.
For instance, Dr. Mary Jo Cravada is in there. Melanie Sachs is in there. Some of these teachers that wrote books, they didn’t have big email lists, they weren’t into online marketing or any of that, but all of a sudden they got a platform. That was something they were missing, a connection to their readers. I brought that in of just, we can just get on the phone and I can have a zillion of your readers show up.
Just from me saying this is what we’re doing anyway if you want to come out for an hour and then take questions for 15 minutes, that would be amazing. Then building a structure around that over time so that by the time the Ayruveda summit came up and we wanted to hit the biggest teachers, it was kind of like there was a stage that had been set from me taking risks for a long time and saying, “If you want, go listen to a podcast with another one of these teachers.” They would. They would hear the podcast and be like, “I want to be on here. I want to be featured. I want to be in the summit.”
It just gets easier. Just to follow that. Again, I just want to keep pointing back to it’s not about us. It really isn’t. It’s about we’re part of this bigger thing that’s happening. I do feel an amazing amount of responsibility or ability to respond. I have consumed so many resources in my life. I mean, the amount of education I have is phenomenal, both intellectually and physically and spiritually and metaphysically and all these different levels. I have an ability to respond to a lot of problems in the world.
How can I best use that? If I focus on that, the connections, the relationships that really do somewhat spontaneously arise in order for the greater good to be served, is truly amazing. That surrender, that curiously that Amanda was talking about, absolutely. I think that’s where it comes from. Such amazing things can happen in a short clip. We can do so much good and people can feel so connected, so quickly. We know that these are the right relationships for me to be in right now.
Then, what’s cool is as we age, they develop. Now it’s almost 10 years later, for a lot of those initial teachers, we’ve had a relationship for 10 years. It’s such a beautiful relationship. That, I never would have had had I not built a platform for them to stand on.
Racheal: Yeah. I think that’s amazing. It reminds of, Cate, I know you and I both… we’re in probably several similar telesummits or groups that started in 2010/2011 that really started to take off, I feel like. What’s interesting is that in this community, there just haven’t been a lot of people with big platforms. There’s been a lot of people with… people who love their books and who are talking about their books. But there’s never been a cohesive community for them to come together. When these people started popping up and inviting them, it started creating something really powerful that were bringing people together.
Now, that said, I think it’s changed a little bit. You started those relationships 10 years ago when not as many people were doing this kind of thing. My question back to you would be: How would you — if you were starting from today — get those relationships going? If those people had a platform?
Cate: I wouldn’t aim so high. How many people have a book now?
Cate: It’s like you go into a room, “Raise your hand if you’ve published a book?” Right? “Oh, no I’m working on mine.” Right?
Just start with that one rung above. I wasn’t inviting Dr. Vasant Ladd on my LAC — My Living Ayruveda course. We do have two books in the course. But I didn’t even try. Chances are, actually I should have because I’d studied with him but I just didn’t.
Cate: But, yeah, it’s like start within that sphere. We all know. You just won’t hear back from people and then you know they’re not interested. Who might be?
Racheal: I’m much more likely to say yes to you if you’re saying, “I loved your book. In fact, I’m using it in this course I’m creating. Would you be interested?” That’s very different from, “Will you just come talk to us for free?”
Cate: Yeah. Yeah.
Racheal: It’s not a bad thing to massage their ego a little bit and let them know how much you appreciate them and the work they’ve done in the world. That definitely opens the door a lot easier than just a straight ask.
Cate: Yeah, that’s true.
Amanda: You know when you’re approaching people that are more on a peer level, though, even if you’re not going for people several steps ahead of you. You still don’t just want to go in and just ask them to do stuff. I think there’s still value in just building a relationship just simply —
Cate: I just want to pause there. Be helpful before you ask for help. Number one. It’s always that. It’s always, always, always that. Always.
Racheal: Yes. Absolutely.
Cate: No matter who you’re approaching, be helpful and get to know each other a little bit before you just jump into bed with each other — as Racheal said. Always good life advice.
Racheal: Know who you’re jumping in bed with. That’s a tweetable, guys.
Amanda: Should we probably wrap this one up?
Cate: Yeah. That’s it. That’s competition versus collaboration. Oh, and two book recommendations for this one is The Mesh by Alyssa Genkan and the other is Peers Incorporated.