Joanne Coley is a body transformation coach passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform their health and lives. Faster Leaner Stronger Entrepreneurs is about supporting ‘lady bosses’ to take good care of themselves, help more people and create more impact.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Entering the health and fitness industry, certainly here in the UK, you are by default self-employed. Very few gyms and health clubs have trainers on payroll anymore. You’re in business for yourself working to acquire clients from the moment you complete your training.
I got qualified as a personal trainer straight out of University and combined this with working within the private security sector, where I was also freelance. Few years in, I got sick with glandular fever which left me with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was out of employment for 2 whole years!
I returned to the job market as soon as I was able. First caring for adults with learning disabilities and challenging behavior, then mentoring and coaching teenagers in the field of emotional health and wellbeing. This utilized my sports, fitness and nutrition knowledge, as I supported youngsters with body confidence issues, weight loss, physical education, and life skills, which centered around cooking nutritional meals.
That is how I got my passion back for health and fitness as a focus! I updated all my personal training, coaching and nutritional qualifications and started coaching fitness privately again.
As my business interests grew, I started to spend time with female entrepreneurs and observed the challenge of the work-life balance. I know from personal experience, without a focus on health, we’ll burn out on the way to our business goals and entrepreneurial dreams.
I feel like I have come full circle and it’s great to be home! I’m motivated by a desire to help female entrepreneurs make their exceptional contribution to the world from a place of health, energy, and confidence.
Tell us about your business.
Be Lean Fitness is a coaching business with a focus on body transformation. I’m interested in helping female entrepreneurs to lose weight, improve their health, fitness and body confidence, while still staying focused on their businesses.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I’m asked a lot about nutrition and decided to start building out some recipe books.
My first one is available via my website called 20 Tasty Breakfast Recipes for Faster Leaner Stronger Entrepreneurs. Its available as a free download if anyone would like it.
If you’re looking to improve your health, like I always advise my clients, make nutrition your focus.
I’ve got numerous certification in personal training, nutrition, coaching and mentoring.
Accomplishments wise at this point, nothing that the world would shout about. I get my satisfaction from seeing client’s health and lives transform.
I’m continually inspired by the teenagers and female entrepreneurs and business owners that I meet who are going all out to be the leanest, fittest and strongest versions of themselves.
Where is your business based?
United Kingdom. As I work online, I’m able to support English speaking ladies worldwide, which is fantastic!
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
- Increasing visibility on social media platforms.
- Sharing what I was doing with friends and family.
- I took additional training in areas where I required further skills – working and marketing online were totally unfamiliar to me when I first got started. I found it a very steep learning curve and with so much that’s always changing, I’m not convinced I will ever get near the top of the curve!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Word of mouth and social media combined have been useful.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Without a doubt… overwhelm.
When I first started learning online marketing, I downloaded anything of interest which popped up on my social media feeds and those insanely good algorithms continued to send me stuff based on the mental amount of content I was clicking on.
I found myself being told all kinds of conflicting information. Facebook is the answer, then Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Blogging, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Live, going hard on content creation, content is now dead, list building, not list building, webinars, Facebook Groups, YouTube… everybody pitching the thing they have been successful with as the ‘holy grail’ of building your business. It ground me to a halt and I procrastinated… a lot.
My health continues to present challenges and I’m not fully recovered as there is no current cure for chronic fatigue syndrome.
I’ve also found it a challenge to put myself out there on social media. I’m an introvert and very private by nature, layer in a background in security and you’ve got a recipe for a recluse.
I’m also the kind of person who can happily go through their day without it ever crossing my mind to photograph or video anything!
How did you overcome these challenges?
To combat the overwhelm I hired a business coach who is successful in moving from ‘in person’ training to online health and fitness coaching. He cut through a lot of the noise for me and helped me gain direction and clarity and see what is possible.
He also encouraged me to pick a niche and be brave about it, then select a limited number of social media platforms and master those. I’m massively grateful for his input.
I think as I’ve gone further in my own entrepreneurial journey, invested in my education and mixed with people who are significantly further down the line with their businesses, I’ve been able to see first-hand more about what it really takes to be successful and it’s not always what’s being pitched in the general marketplace.
The challenge regarding my health I’ve been able to overcome with taking my business online. No more hugely long days on a gym floor with lots of ‘dead time’ in between. I knew I didn’t have the health to continue personal training into the future, but I had the knowledge and desire to help people.
My client base doesn’t particularly want someone standing next to them in the gym but does desire a powerful coaching experience to help them improve their health. They also appreciate the flexibility that working online provides them with their own busy schedules. It’s meant learning new skills, but ultimately being forced to embrace this challenge has opened an entirely new path for me.Don’t be afraid to pivot in your business.Click To Tweet
Regarding social media – I’ve just had to ‘bite the bullet’ and I’m still finding my feet with it but ultimately the desire to help people is bigger than my fears.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Faith is a huge part of my life. I believe God put me here for a purpose and I intend to walk in that all the days of my life.
Gratitude is a big one. When I think back to being too poor to work, being able to contribute to society again is something I never take for granted.
I think understanding my ‘why’ is a huge motivator. If our why isn’t big enough I don’t think we have the courage or desire to push for our breakthrough when the road gets tough.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I’m positioned a little differently in the marketplace in the fact that I only coach female entrepreneurs.
I also have business interests away from health coaching which includes, e-commerce, marketing and from time to time property/real estate so I’m on my own entrepreneurial journey and that gives me a unique insight and affinity with my clients.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I listened to ‘Start Now Get Perfect Later’ by Rob Moore on Audible. He spoke about avoiding ‘task jumping’ and I’ve only realized how badly I do this since listening to this book. Lots of tasks on the go and lots of tabs open on the laptop!
I’m practicing staying focused by using Pomodoro Technique which breaks work into work intervals and breaks. So far so good.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Someone once told me ‘7 out of 10 is good enough’. If you wait until it’s perfect you’ll never get your idea, project or program off the ground.
My biggest breakthrough came hiring a coach and my advice would be don’t wait till your head’s ‘done in’ like I did. They can help give you great clarity and really accelerate your timeline.
As a health coach, please don’t neglect your own health. We know that it’s important to put the work in if you want to be successful but living long enough to see your success is far more important.
Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists and social media! Cut down the noise.
If you’re fortunate enough to be blessed with a good family – keep your priorities straight. My mom is one of the most important people in my world, she had a stroke in the early part of 2018.
As entrepreneurs, we are a slightly different breed. Wired and driven a little differently. We can be intensely focused, sometimes to the exclusion of other things. Standing in a hospital ward is a great reminder about what’s ultimately important in life.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
- Fiverr and Upwork are great places to find skilled staff you can outsource tasks to.
- Audible – I’m able to access so many great books by being able to listen to them while traveling.
- High-Quality Facebook groups can be a great source of information particularly active ones where people are sharing ideas, resources and ways they overcame problems.
Time is precious, so be choosey. I’ve found the very best ones are accessible only as part of paid programs or services, but I’ve found absolute gold information in many Facebook Groups. Great place to serve and be served.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
A very powerful book I listed to recently was ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ by Robert B Cialdini – great study on the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these understandings. Fascinating… and it’s made me much harder to ‘sell to’.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning more about how to use LinkedIn specifically and am learning Facebook Advertising for my e-commerce businesses.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Testing products and marketing for my e-commerce projects and establishing the store with a happy customer base.
I’m also looking ahead to create more impact within my coaching business. I’m working with another coach myself to keep me accountable and moving forward.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Hashtags #beleanfitness #healthcoach #entrepreneur #coaching
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