Website: http://www.BijaCoaching.com for my Life & Wellness Coaching business, Bija Coaching. I have done a little branching out over the last decade to add to the life and business coaching and I added Holistic food coaching to the mix. Because of that I started blogging about living a fresh lifestyle with Eat Fresh In The City at http://www.EatFreshInTheCity.com. Recently I decided to add a component of health and fitness to my clients – and since I am working on my fitness certifications currently I needed an option. I became an Independent fitness coach with Beachbody – and that is http://www.JumpOnFitness.com.
Other Website Projects: Part of the new Launching Women group – http://www.LaunchingWomen.com
What motivated you to start your own business? A little over a decade ago I was working for a company – and the CEO was the catalyst for me starting my own business. He treated women disrespectful, and I finally realized that I had the knowledge that was bringing the businesses I worked for huge year over year successes. So why was I making them all of the money. I started out doing graphic design and brand awareness, and had a children’s store. I finally figured out that the life coaching was my calling, and my soul purpose was to help others. That is when I turned the focus onto Bija Coaching.
When did you start your business? I started my business initially a decade ago.
When did you realize you had a talent/interest in your particular area? I have always been the ‘fix-it’ girl. What I mean by that is when a friend had a problem, I would want to reach out and fix it. I’ve also always been very connected to others in a manner that seemed to allow me to just know what they needed. This inner voice has guided me well in life, and I see it as a gift. As a life coach I don’t need to work slowly like a therapist would, and I would not work with someone I feel needs a licensed therapist. I love nothing more than pushing someone to reach their full potential, and to really discover who they are.
Do you do this full-time or part-time? I go back and forth between full-time and part-time. My daughter is my priority – and so much of my business growth has been the automation of my services to clients so that I can work with more consumers large scale – and still have the time when I feel there is someone that I need to work with one-on-one. I generally would love to spend more time on business, but at this point, it’s family first.
What lessons have you learned along the way? What would you tell someone just starting out? The first lesson I learned in business was that partnerships had better be gold or they are a contract waiting to be broken. In the 90’s I owned a salon in downtown Salt Lake City, and it was a partnership that ended badly. I think that you have to know the emotional being of each partner, because business always ends up being emotional at some point. So if you cannot be your emotional self with your partner without being judged or manipulated – it’s not a partnership that is going to work. Also, things happen. All of the things you never thought would happen do happen. Realize that you can’t change things that happen, but you can change how you react to it.
When I was in cosmetology school I had built up a great client list. I was planning on purchasing a salon out of school, and I was told that I shouldn’t expect my clients to follow me. And to my surprise they did follow me. I always worked with “educating” my clients and not “selling” my products. This practice has continued to serve me well. I’m not a salesman, nor do I want to become one. Never try to sell your clients – educate them and they will follow.
How do you market your business? Any particular ideas that worked best for you? When working in Seattle I had a client call me. She had purchased a stroller, and it was the wrong color. She was so upset. If you’ve never been pregnant, you may not understand the emotional state that a color can create when you are weeks away from delivery. I not only got her the correct stroller, but I sent it to her on the island express because she was due in a few weeks and I didn’t want her traveling. I received a Thank You card that I still have in my office because it meant so much to me. Customers remember when they have a great experience. So always do what you can to give them that experience.
How do you market your business? Any particular ideas that worked best for you? I am a firm believer in guerrilla marketing. When I worked in Seattle running multiple children’s stores I brought in a local music studio to do free “demo” classes on Saturdays. I also had a once a month “free photo session” with a local photographer for customers. I also partnered with Boeing and Microsoft to offer a discount to their employees. None of these cost me any money, and yet brought in customers and gave them the knowledge that we cared about being their partner. I love using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, online forums and groups to showcase my business. I get lots of world of mouth referrals, and on occasion I do use print advertising, but only on a targeted campaign. I think taking part in expos and creating partnerships with other business owners to share costs of creating these sort of events are always a great way to market at the best cost.
Do you have questions for other entrepreneurs? Need help with anything? I have struggled with finding a video editing software that I like. What are the other network members finding that they are having success with? And why do they use it?
Any special offers to share with our readers?
A) Get 20% off our Soulutions Program available either on the website http://www.facebook.com/BijaCoaching or on the Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/BijaCoaching when you use the code: nudgevillage at checkout (Currently on sale – so it’s a huge discount to begin with right now!)
B) When you order Shakeology HD (http://myshakeology.com/bijacoaching) during the February or March you’ll receive a) free shipping every month, b) 2 FREE workout DVD’s in your first shipment, c) FREE Shakeology Shaker cup in your second shipment – and you’ll be entered to win the Total Body Solution – Learn how fitness trainer Debbie Siebers, recovers from her own aches, pains, and injuries. In Total Body Solution she’ll show you how the right exercises can prevent and help heal injuries. The secret to health, is staying healthy so that you can continue to do the things you love.
C) Sign up to let me be your FREE Fitness Coach – http://bijacoaching.com/fitclub/wordpress/?page_id=43 – and I’ll help you reach your fitness goals. It’s Mind-Body-Soul; and you need all three to fully connect with your life.
Can we come back and interview you again in a few months to find out what “next steps” you’ve taken in your business adventures? I’d love to talk in a few months to see where I’ve gotten with some of the projects I am currently working on, and to see how my clients are reacting to the new fitness line of products available.
Thanks for letting me share with the group. I really appreciate being able to connect with everyone on a more personal level.
~Barbara Christensen, Your Solutions Coach
Embracing The Divine “YOU”
Welcome to Nudge Village Barbara!