Podcast Episode 34

with Victoria Davis (Avidity Sisters)

Learn To Fail, So You Can Succeed with Victoria Davis 

Victoria is a Wellness Consultant and Coach for small businesses and corporations where she specializes in developing and implementing programs designed to fit your company’s unique culture. To date, Victoria has given over 300 wellness presentations, coached over 5,000 individuals, and has consulted and created programs for more than a dozen companies of all shapes and sizes. In 2017, she and her sister, Dr. Jaime Parker, co-founded Avidity Wellness Consulting & Events. Their clients include Jabz Boxing Fitness for Women where they’ve developed nutrition and lifestyle challenges for the entire franchise for several thousand women nationwide. She’s also a regular contributor for multiple health-forward online publications including Thebeet.com, Sass Magazine and Chickpea Magazine.


Victoria Davis

Victoria: Hi Katerina. 

Katerina: Great to see you and welcome to the show. 

Victoria: Thank you for having me. Yeah, I mean, you are a nutritionist you are coach consultant, you dedicate your work to help wellness and fitness business owners, but you’ve had your share of ups and downs in your intrapreneurship journey, can you just start from the beginning, how did it all start?

Victoria: Yeah, I think it I think it’s been a crazy journey over the past 12 years at this point, and I’m really, I think, it’s for me, it was all about figuring it outright like that’s what being a serial entrepreneur is and finding things that I liked and thought that I should be doing it, just because I was good at it or liked it didn’t mean I should, but I had to figure that out.

And so, yeah, I mean, the first thing I ever did as an entrepreneur was.. take my alternative allergy-friendly baking skills that I learned in a really prominent bakery in New York City, while I was in college, and then moved to Guatemala and started my own bakery which started mobile in that country because, you know, over a decade ago… if people had food intolerances and allergies in the states there were some things, but not that much, and Guatemala was way behind, and so I saw that opportunity and I seized it, but because you know I mean I speak Spanish I always have but because I wasn’t, you know familiar with that culture as well as I could have been until I was living immersed in that for three years.

Having a mobile bakery there was really fun, but it was hard, you know, I had to learn to negotiate and I had to learn what worked and what didn’t and that ended up failing. Not because it couldn’t have succeeded, but I just didn’t, I didn’t have the capacity to hire in to continue to grow and I didn’t know how I was going to be there full time and what that would look like and honestly it failed because there was a need, but there wasn’t a huge desire for what I had there was very few and far between, at the time now it’s a big thing and so that was my first failed business.

Katerina: You failed because there wasn’t a need… there was a need, but it wasn’t like a huge success because… there was… I don’t remember the name of the guy… he did research about you know what are the key factors that contribute to the success of a small business, and sometimes we think oh is because the idea is bad, or because you know that is we don’t have a team of people working on the idea over the cash is the problem but he found that the timing is everything. Yeah, the idea might be great, but the market might not be ready for that idea. Yeah. And that looks like, because now everyone is raving about healthy this healthy that, but then people just didn’t understand they needed it.

Victoria: Yeah, yeah, it was just their own timing, it looks yeah like I had early adopters like I had certain people it’s interesting in that in that culture because people who could afford it were obviously there’s such a class system there. Yeah. And so I had my largest supporters had their own restaurants and we’re looking for alternative recipes, but even still, they might be, let’s say they were vegan but they weren’t healthy and so it was just like this really there were these nuances like you said… so yeah they weren’t ready for it or they thought they knew what they wanted to get it and they really did it so I had a hard time, establishing a presence that was sustainable, absolutely. 

Katerina: Yeah, yeah, but it’s good that you didn’t kind of transfer this failure into your personal so that you know, I am a failure, it just right you’ve been able to pivot and change the direction right. 

Victoria: Yeah, absolutely. And I was pretty stubborn and wanting to figure something out while living in that country. And so I ended up creating a boot business which I still have a product for and sell here and there, which is fun it’s not something that I… you know I don’t dedicate my life to that, but I got to hand design and create boots with local artisans and then sell them and just because I liked fashion I thought that okay I can do this and my heart was totally not in that.

But again I returned some boots with a cupcake so I learned that industry and realised okay like this isn’t gonna work out you know but that was a whole other animal that I, to this day, now I understand sort of the whole fair trade thing and understand the back end of what it looks like to have you know e-commerce platform with, you know when you’re shipping international goods and there was a lot to take on with that and I realised this is not for me. 

Katerina: Yeah. So what did you learn during your second venture, what did you learn something you didn’t know before when you did your allergy recipe. 

Victoria: Yeah, I mean I learned so many things that I think again sort of the biggest thing was just because I think an entrepreneur needs to really understand that there are two ways to look at entrepreneurship right like I when it comes to taking an idea and running with it. You have to be able to detach from the idea, emotionally, in order for it to succeed if, you know, a lot of ways because I was too attached to the boot business emotionally and because I wasn’t passionate about it. I didn’t want to do it.

And so I could have taken that vision and translated it and hand it off to somebody else. And that could have been successful, but because in that space, I felt like there’s something wrong because I don’t want to do this then it doesn’t count and it was just another failed venture, and then look looking back though I realised, no it was a great idea it would, it could have been a lot bigger of a success than it was, had I just handed it off to someone who had a passion for it, you know… And I think that at the end of the day, yes being an entrepreneur in that space what I learned was, if I’m going to be behind it 100% I need to have a deep heart connection to what I’m creating. But if not, I need to be able to recognise that this is not my baby and I could pass it off to someone else and I didn’t do either of those in that in that experience. So I learned the hard way with that but I’m really thankful that I learned that. 

Katerina: Yeah. So what was the, what was the next step? After the boot business, would you do the next?

Victoria: So I kind of hit rock bottom, financially, emotionally, all those things. Um, I was in that country really not sure what I was going to do next. And so I just went back to the basics and I knew that there was something I could, you know, bring it to life that connected. My personal journey and story with having Tourette Syndrome as a kid and having to navigate life in this alternative way with food, and helping people, you know, honestly with resilience in the in their personal journeys but I just, I let it go, I just kind of killed it.

I let that those dreams die and so I went back to. I grew up in Austin, Texas, and I went back there and got a really great, but terrible job at the same time, because of the hours and the craziness in the music industry because that’s what I studied and whenever my whole life. And I should have known better I should have done that to myself and I stayed there, but I learned to really be a good steward of the opportunities that I had in the past and I and it really forced me to dream again, you know, because I was like why I study this and I do not want to be here hating every minute of it. I’d much rather be broke and doing something I love, then be here miserable. So, that was like the kind of breakdown. And from there, I ended up just deciding, okay, what tools do I need in order to make another business and have it be successful, like what is already, what am I already gifted at what am I really skilled at, what do I already know. And how can I use all my training to create something?

And so I kind of what I had to learn as an entrepreneur in this space was taking the pressure off. I think that there’s a fine line between, you know, if somebody else is paying me, and they’re dictating my payment terms that it doesn’t count. And I had to let go of that notion while I was building. What I do now. And so what I did was I got all of the required certifications and education, worked on the backend to go along with the vision that I have right. And so with this space of health and wellness consulting now where I get to health and wellness consult people like me actually build their own businesses and brands and then sometimes corporations, designing and implementing wellness programming for their company’s unique culture. I couldn’t do that without being in the trenches and willing to let somebody else. Show me. And that was really hard for me because I could, I had a vision and I could tell them that you’re doing this wrong and, but that wasn’t my place. So, kind of a long-winded answer to your question. 

Katerina: Good. Yeah. Did you get you home? Did you have nine to five job then, did you have like a corporate job before?

Victoria: So what I did was yeah after I was in the music industry which was not nice if I was all day. I ended up, figuring out how can I take the pressure off… How can I breathe a little bit… Let me just get it to, you know, back into the career space that I want to be in like the world I want to create and I need to plug myself into that world. I’m not going to get there by being in the music industry. So what I did was I took on a bilingual health coaching job. Okay. And it was I loved it because it was flexible and autonomous in the sense that I travelled all the time with it. I coached. I was in the state of Arizona and I coached all around the state.

I was able to kind of coach, however, I wanted. And, you know, really kind of help. Just kind of bring my own style into it so I had to learn you know how am I going to show up what do people need. So it’s kind of like that Malcolm Gladwell the 10,000-hour rule thing, you know like I, I couldn’t expect to have a business that would be successful and be an expert in it if I didn’t have boots on the ground. And so, that type of job was not typically nine to five. So I thrived in that as an entrepreneur right but I had to set my own schedule and be self-disciplined and so that was the first step to really understanding. How can I be a good steward of the work that’s given me the accounts that are given to me? And how can I create something and watch it grow and manage it because I was in charge of watching these accounts grow and the coaching grow? Yeah.

Katerina: Yeah. But now you… You are a nutrition coach and, and you’re heartened to be in it, right. So, but you also, you also kind of overcome your personal sort of, you know, pregnant having Tourette’s when you were a kid. And, again, that, that, that just inspiring in its own right. How did you manage to do it because it wasn’t easy for you right when you were a kid?

Victoria: Now, it’s funny I didn’t realise how difficult. A lot of kids that have Tourette Syndrome, and how difficult that is until I did my own interview series on it. A couple of years ago, and I realised how blessed I was and how different My life was, um, I had the diagnosis I got the diagnosis when I was seven. And it was incredibly distracting for me you know it was distracting for all my family members, my friends, my schoolmates. And my dad reasons himself. And so he implemented dietary changes now knowing now and really getting into the weeds of this there’s a lot more than just that goes along with it that just that, but the nutrition aspect was life-changing for me. It took about two years for my tics to basically completely dissipate yet, but I had a responsibility and I don’t know where that came from but as a kid, I was on board and it’s carried into my adulthood I just wasn’t willing to compromise because I knew that if I eat something or do something that a lot of people don’t really think twice about and take for granted, it will affect my entire day, you know, and so I learned that the hard way as a kid I… it was funny I was thrown into like situations with my mom to where she didn’t really know what to do with it and I ate whenever I wanted it was over, over stimulated with electronics and stuff. And then I go home… and it would be awful because it would have an effect.

And so, knowing that and really experiencing the backlash and getting made fun of and bullied in school. I ended up just deciding I’m going to take this, you know I know I’m by that when I was 10 to 12. I didn’t really fully understand things but I just knew I didn’t like how I felt. And so, that started that journey you know but it was it’s a day it was a day in day out consistent thing and then figuring out other ways to channel what I call the nervous energy that comes with it like I had to figure that out for myself, and it takes a long time so what caused it. 

Katerina: Because you were just seven… Did you say you were seven was caused it because it’s it, I am interested in, you know the mental health….yeah, in kids as well and I am researching it and I’ve got my own little one and I’m trying to teach him how to be resilient from a very early age. But yeah, it’s just what is causing this to happen to kids… what do you think, what triggered it?

Victoria: Yeah, so you’re gonna get the very not bad but science side that just says it’s just genetic and that is true, but think about the fact that genetically we’re so predisposed to a lot of things you know and so I think that because of environmental toxins and the way our food is now prepared and processed, especially in the United States. Those things that happen generationally right…

What is great but I mean my great grandparents and grandparents had farms in Ohio in the Carolinas and you know the rich soil and they didn’t have these problems but when everything gets overly sanitised and overly regulated, and we have body stress and we don’t get sunshine, it weakens us so we can start immune system in our, you know how our store we are structurally genetically and so I think that yes there’s an element of it being hereditary. But I also think that I wasn’t born, the way like a super-strong immune system or. I think really linking it to leaky gut and having gut issues because there’s that whole gut-brain access and everybody talks about that and us now find out that so much of what’s going on up here starts in your gut, and I’ve found that ADD and ADHD are definitely part of that group and they just get ignored.

Katerina: Yeah, yeah, but it’s amazing you fix this programme, just to nutrition right was it was a large part of it and I mean your story is amazing because again, and it’s so much emotion and I can understand why you are successful now because the story you know it’s you authentic you write with all that story and all that struggle, and then finding that solution that’s not a medication it’s a, it’s just changing your nutrition is it’s amazing. 

Victoria: Yeah, thank you. And it really wasn’t it’s still something today that I have a handle on but I think that what I’ve learned too is that because I was developing through those years and you know you develop till you’re 25 pretty much, but really it’s so crucial at that time of when you’re a kid that, because we got ahead of it, then my body wasn’t nearly as impacted as it could have been, I don’t know how bad my symptoms could have been.

But what was in the food was everything I mean removing caffeine and stimulants and sugar and processed anything, those were like the four things that helped me thrive and we didn’t know anything about gluten and dairy then I mean, you know, and they’re starting to show that that’s got direct connection but also too, I think what is really important with that is developing the discipline of figuring out how my body is wired differently and allowing it to move more freely. So for example, there….

Again, people don’t know that anxiety and depression are often linked to that syndrome, and it’s because of multiple things right you’re uncomfortable with yourself. And there’s a lot of executive functioning and processing things that go that come along with it too. And until you’re educated on that you don’t know how to handle what you’re feeling and so I learned the discipline of physically training my body with endurance racing, you know, to channel that stuff, so it people might think it seems extreme or it’s a lot but it’s, I know what I need to really thrive in focus, you know. 

Katerina: Yeah. No, I mean it’s thanks I mean, this platform is all about the stigmatising the, you know, mental health issues and just having, you know it’s a platform to share, you know, stories like this and I think your story is just, it’s gonna be so motivational for a lot of listeners out there because it’s just, it’s amazing what you do, but you know, going back to your sort of the beginning of yours… yeah, being and being a nutritional coach. You know, when you just start because you started with your sister right? At the beginning of this… the beginning of your journey. Did you, did you have any challenges that you had to overcome and how did you overcome those challenges?

Victoria: Yeah, so this is in my industry in particular. You have to be so clear on your niche in order to grow at all and I think that that’s obviously true for any business but especially in health, because it’s a multi-trillion dollar industry it’s insane. And so it’s a very saturated industry and there are so many coaches and fitness professionals, how do you stand out how do you differentiate yourself. So, first, because I worked with my sister and we co-founded the business. We have thought that we would… we were for 10 years and I’m not anymore. And we were both plant-based at the same time and we both, both were doing endurance racing together. 

So we thought we would coach people on those two things that did not work for us. It is even though that was really a nation super-specific and people knew exactly. If you wanted high-performance plant-based endurance coaching, that’s super specific, and we had a lot of clients and, but I just knew that that wasn’t what I was passionate about and so we kept, we first started with, you know, we just provide coaching like health coaching in general and, again, people come to you with one desire or need and just because you can meet it doesn’t mean you should, or what I figured out was.

People are asking me things and think that I offer a certain service and I don’t you know like they’re coming to me with disease management and prevention and while I can coach on that like my heart’s not there and I don’t really specialise in that or weight loss, you know, I don’t specialise in that and so we will get you to do just turn them down or. So no, we took them. But if I would refer him or I would take them and use it as a learning platform. And, but that was really hard because I kept thinking, I know I’m good at this, and I know people are getting help but our business isn’t growing the way that I want and I realised because it was like it just it was not in line with a what I really believed to who I was really supposed to be serving because I believe every single person is called to a subset of people.

And, yeah, it was really hard and so we were too afraid to get clear clarity for a while and so we kept folly, we still made money though along the way. And then we got into that hole like I was saying before, the niche super-specific niche, with the plant-based endurance training, but that figuring that out. That’s my sister’s love, it’s her colleague she’s great at it she’s really gifted in that space. And then I realised you know along the way. I didn’t like one on one coaching as much as I thought I did, and I, you know, carried it’s kind of funny to say, I give this number because you think that I would know by now but I’ve probably coached at this point, my paper says 5000.

I think it at this point it’s 6000 or so sessions and of one on one coaching over the years, and people might look at that and think wow it’s amazing. It is. And it brought me joy, but I realised I was just something wrong there was something off, and I think I learned that and I want people to know this it’s resilience means still sticking to it even if you don’t want it to, you know what I mean it’s like for me what I learned in this prior. Yeah. Isn’t developed by just putting your head down and waiting for things to be over, it’s learning to be. I think it’s to rest and and and joyful, even when you come into the next step I mean, how brilliant is this should be the book… yes. No.

So there’s two he’s actually from he’s from the UK is integrated cook and he has this audio training called The Way Of the Wire, and he talks about that he says warriors don’t look for a way out of the battle they looked at it and they, they, like, look to be joyful and happy they’re not looking at the end, they’re not waiting to get out of it and I’m like, oh man, that’s a process right. So I think that you cannot have authority rather you cannot be an expert unless you have fallen on your face because you won’t know how to relate to people you just won’t. And that’s what I learned in the health business was. It came in bright-eyed and bushy-tailed him thinking that, you know, I’m going to coach on just health coaching and then I got really specific in the niche and realised. For me the secret sauce was not in the one on one health coaching it was in coaching coaches on elephant brand and break through the mindsets and the barriers and fears that I dealt with, you know, falling on your face. 

Katerina: Aren’t you afraid to fall on your face?

Victoria: Yeah. You know I am, and I think that I mean I’m sure you can relate to this, I think that you are afraid until it happens, and when you look back at a cookie that wasn’t that bad. And so, there’s always I always say there’s always a new grace like there’s always a new, you get to this mountain but then there’s the next one, and it’s just an invitation it’s just an opportunity to fail forward, and I, instead of like you just said putting your hand in the sand, and giving up I’ve learned that the hard way that failure or obstacles are not there to stop you they’re there to challenge you to grow, and when you can say I can do this, then you’re kind of, you know. 

Katerina: Yeah, but you said, for a lot of solopreneurs, I mean imposter syndrome is something they have to deal with right?

Victoria: Oh yeah, you know like, how, how do you appear to be an expert if you think deep inside you know, am I really an expert, you know. And how have you ever had any doubts about being an expert or every day, every day… Because, because I think that there’s one famous quote that says something about you need to share your message in your story otherwise other people will write it for you or something like that.

I think the biggest problem with solopreneurs or entrepreneurs is that we try to fit into other people’s expectations versus what we know to be true in our heart. And yes, there are methods and tactics and strategies with business. But if just because you’re the only this is what I would have to say to that just because you might be the only person in your, in your industry that has a dream and an idea, doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it just means that you get the opportunity to be a pioneer, and I think that that was the biggest lesson that I had to learn, you know it’s like okay well I’m going to be just nice enough so that I can be competitive. I was too afraid of really kind of getting out there on the fringe because I felt like, I’ll never be able to serve anyone because no one’s going to get it and while that’s true and a little bit. Yeah, that was just me being listening to those fears you know and thinking that no one’s really going to, you know, work with me because I might be too out there for them or whatever that was. 

Katerina: Yeah. It’s just when you have all these doubts that kind of stuff, you know, popping into your head when you’re not making some sales so something doesn’t quite work, and this is when your internal critic starts telling you, oh you know you know doing this try though, you know, how do you get rid of this voices in your head. 

Victoria: Yeah, that’s a really good question. Um, well, honestly, for me it’s that has to do with my faith like personally like that, for me, I’ve literally experienced supernatural miracles in my life in more ways than one. So for me having that alignment has allowed me to speak to those fears, really honestly like that that was the biggest thing that I had to do was, I don’t know, I think, sorry I could go on the tangent here but really it was.

I thought really radical with the comparison game. So what I mean by that is I stopped using social media for a while, and really just developed my business because what I was doing, is I was allowing other people’s successes to hold me back right like you just said thinking that I have to do things a certain way and listening to those voices. Those voices stopped when I stopped giving them power by not entertaining them through the channels where they like to attack me. And so I’m going to say thanks for that. 

Katerina: Yeah, I think you just put on, because again, you know, you just deliver a constant stream of information and there is a constant stream of advice from everybody in anybody and shiny, what was it called Gosh, shiny object syndrome is quite is a common thing right you just think oh I need this, or someone is stealing your unit doing Facebook Live so you know being there so you should be doing videos and blah blah blah. But it just you right, they just… What do you do how do you prioritise? How do you know what to do next? If you have so many people that are telling you, you shouldn’t be doing this and you shouldn’t be implementing this strategy and that strategy. How do you prioritise? How do you know what to do? 

Victoria: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that’s my biggest thing is I really turn off the noise intentionally. And I listened to myself, and I, what I’ve done is I’ll take old school scrap paper and write out the process of how I know I can get somebody from A to Z transformation. Right. So first I do that. And that is without any extra, you know, noise, there are people who I trust in my inner circle who I will share that with and bounce that off of.

So they can help me refine it but first I sit there without looking online and thinking, What do I have to say how do I do this, I just do it that way. And then I what I’ve always done is I’ve identified the mediums that I like and I feel the most comfortable in. So for me, kind of like you, I like speaking I like video. So I realised that I think email marketing is important and having a list to connect with I doesn’t mean to have to write, huge emails I could cut videos and send it to them, you know, so, so for me, it was really going back to the basics of knowing. This is the process that I have that I can deliver on this is how I show up best for myself and for other people. And then that allowed me to figure out, okay, all of these other platforms that are saying I need to be on them. I don’t need to be on them, you know, also the other thing I did that I’ve always done too is figuring out where does my audience live.

And once I kind of had learned that you know with health and business or health and fitness professionals. The actual coaches, a lot of them are on social media, but when we’re talking about businesses, a lot of them are on LinkedIn. So, I had to really say okay I’m going to pick, you know, one for each group and stay away from everything else, and not worry about it. I think for me what I’ve learned is consistency and the ability to have those big horse blinders on… is the only way that you can do… that’s the analogy. You have to have them on, you have to because you’re right there’s yeah it’s… cannot be in all places at all times and you don’t need to be on all these different platforms and it’s they’re just distracting and it causes stress, and especially when you’re just starting out or being a solo entrepreneur your spin, you’ll spend much more time focused on creating an image, versus actually having a connection where the sale happens and half the time you don’t even need to be online to have sales it’s just crazy like you know is if you can have a good connection like this. Sometimes it converts into a crazy good deal for both of you so that’s kind of what I would say. 

Katerina: Yeah, no… like now something popped in my mind… is like a couple of years ago I bought this… was not Click funnel but very similar sort of thing and I was just like, Oh, I forgot that I had that …. 

Victoria: Yeah, well do you feel like this category where you learn to just get some this way and you just think, oh, someone advice you… oh you have to have this, you have to come up just doing nothing and then right?… yes yes I bought packages for my business and I don’t even know they’re just sitting in my inbox I don’t use that. And I think that we have that, it’s the same with…. It’s the same with your health, just because you sign up with a coach, doesn’t mean you’re gonna see results. It’s the same with your business.

Katerina: Yes, it’s true, it’s true, gosh yes it’s so true. But you… what’s in your view, is the biggest mistake all starting solopreneurs make when they hit that, you know, started the business everyone is just.. like joyful and they have a great idea. What is the biggest mistake in your view, people make when they start their businesses?

Victoria: Well I think spear is the voice that everybody listens to and that’s the biggest mistake is listening to that, if you know you’re good at something and you have a process or services you can deliver that is like no other, and have conversations… I think everybody thinks the fear what happens is that what translates into the practical actual biggest mistake is we spend too much time, investing in branding and website creation and getting the perfect image, and you could be having conversations and sharing who you are and what you do.

People don’t really care if… what your website looks like if you can’t deliver. It doesn’t matter you know there if you build it… they will call this the thing… and entrepreneurship is because you can anybody can create a website now. So I think that’s the biggest problem is thinking that you have to have everything looking perfect before you actually launch, you don’t, you know, I just think if you don’t have perfection is my same way. But if you say you’re not a perfectionist then are you recovering do you become one.

Okay. Yeah, because I figured out that by trying to be in the box that it didn’t allow me to figure out where I was supposed to go. So, like I was saying you know because I thought I was supposed to be in this particular niche with my sister. It actually made me realise that it cut off all the opportunities of where I could have gone much sooner, you know, and so, but again I figured it out along the way I had to try and I think that that’s what I’m trying to say if you, if you kind of see okay so for example if you kind of see yourself wanting to do, I don’t know, like how to explain this. You’re not exactly sure what to offer people but you know that there’s one thing you can deliver on, keep testing that out until you figure it out along the way… That’s I think the biggest mistake we have… is we don’t start because we’re worried that it’s not going to be… it’s going to be the only thing that we have to do for the rest of our life. I think that’s the biggest issue. 

Katerina: Yeah, but, you know, Avidity Sisters…. you are a co-founder, right? and you work with your sister? I mean, from our conversation you have such a strong vision. You are very passionate, you know, what you want? How do you work with your sister? Does she share the same vision with you?

Victoria: So that’s hard and I also think it’s really important for those of you who are listening to really understand business partnerships are really intense, and it’s hard to do it with your family. My sister and I are super close, but she’s not business savvy and she’ll tell you that she her strong suit is getting in front of people and connecting with people. So, my sister is great with sales and great with delivery, but creating… having long term vision getting in the weeds of it, you know, marketing…. that is not her thing. So what we learned the hard way was for two, two and a half years….

We tried to split everything up 50/50 and that doesn’t work like that, you know, you have to… It helped me in the future when I started hiring people to really understand who I was hiring and why and what you know, what for. So we still have them, we have a really happy partnership now to where I’m… Officially we are co-founders but I’m the CEO and she coaches under me and she doesn’t worry about any of the back end. That’s all she does, she just shows up for the client delivers, and she’ll bring leads because she has conversations with people and that’s great and then I do everything else. So by trying to put on her in the beginning, you know you need to know how to do this technical aspect didn’t listen to that. No, she didn’t. And that actually held us back because of the fact we both felt like we need to have enough skin in the game together, and there were things that she, a never needed to learn and being just was not naturally good at and that’s okay and the same with me, you know. So, that’s kind of how things went with us..

Katerina: Yeah, because why I’m asking is that there are people who think that, well, you need to bring a co-founder on board because as you know… you will bring different skill sets and different things, you know, quality, but it is also an opinion… I mean, I think I’ve read it somewhere and Mike …, you know, the author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur… I think it was that book… and he was just, I think he dedicated the whole chapter to talking about, you know, co-founders and stuff like that and he just said that… your business at the end of the day is to make you happy… you don’t want another job. You want your business to make you happy. That’s why you work with clients that make you happy and you want to almost like multiply, the better you kind of look at the top of the clients who bring you less hustle, less grief and the most amounts of money, and then you almost like multiply those customers and you go off to that group of customers to make you happy right because when you don’t want to work with miserable people. Yeah, which is a great point. And then he just kind of carried on talking about it… Yeah, yeah, I mean I wouldn’t go into business with my family. 

Victoria: You are smart

Katerina: We just have different views of the world. Yeah, we love each other but yeah we’ll have a different vision…. Yeah, interesting conversation. But that… You know just going back to the… you know, the mental wellness. If you are CEO of the company, it’s like you said you know you, you are in charge of the operation on staff, you know, do you have a vision and you, you know, you put more work than anybody else and in the business, how do you relax, how do you stay healthy, look after your mental health? How do you reduce the overwhelm of running a business?

Victoria: Yeah, um, it’s a really great question and it’s something I cannot emphasise enough, I mean two things is one I have to practice what I preach in my industry. So my clients look at me and they want to model a lot of what I do because they are building what I’ve built basically, and if I don’t know how to answer that in a good way, then I shouldn’t think that I am an imposter. Um, so what I’ve learned is to have some very rigid unshakable boundaries in my schedule, and by that I mean, I had to figure out what my priorities in life were first and actually get those out on paper. So for me, that’s that is my, my relationship with my family first, always.

Then my business, and then everybody else and everything else comes after. Establishing those boundaries has been literally creating a schedule with additional space in it, to live to enjoy to create. And so for example, typically Fridays shift now but I only do things like this on Friday or writing a book right now and I’m only doing that, I won’t allow anything on my calendar to get there unless it’s the family time because that’s the most important for me. So any business opportunity I don’t really care how good it is. Sorry, it doesn’t get the space, and being really intense about that has saved me. The other thing that I do too is I’ve learned, where my energy lies and by that I mean, if I have, if I’m low energy in the afternoons and if I, you know, can’t have a great face to face conversation with people that I shouldn’t be working. And so, I really plan my schedule around… and my output not when people are available you know that if it’s really going to work out then they’ll be available whenever my schedule says, and so I think that that’s sort of one of the biggest things is that I really try to, you know, only take on clients certain times of the day, and I really focus on letting myself have time. And for me, what that means is, like, Monday through Thursday in the mornings, is my time for fitness, to create, to just rest, to think, to process, to look at the day, and then around 10.30 later is when I get into the weeds of stuff if I don’t do that. I don’t show up well for myself and I’m not very fun to be around and…

Katerina: Yeah, I mean, it’s funny you mentioned, we actually discussed this yesterday. I was talking to an energy coach… energy management coach and yeah and we had an interesting discussion, you know, time management versus energy management… And it’s all about you know managing your energy really because time, time doesn’t matter right now. You are in the flow, right, you can achieve so much more in a short period of time, when you are most energised basically…Yeah. That’s all it is. And a lot of people think oh you know we need to manage our time and actually, you need to manage your energy, yeah.

Victoria: Yeah, that’s a good point. But you know what is sort of your vision, your vision for the future. I mean, I have to touch on this. We are in it. With pandemic. Still, right, and I have how the business has been so far. 

Katerina: During COVID, there is more demand for people…. how do you see the future? What’s happening in the future? 

Victoria: Yeah, that’s a really good question I see that. What’s interesting is really dialling in on helping coaches actually be funny and resilient in their business and not letting the pandemic take them down. So I think that what I have learned in this process is that my conversations with people just look a little bit differently like sales calls, just look a little bit different because there’s a lot of doubt and fear but what I’ve really learned is that I’ve seen is that it’s really very time to rebrand yourself and pivot and meet new niches or meet new needs and so much of it is. Especially in Corporate health and wellness is now centred on flexibility and remote learning and working and then everything from mental and social health, that’s really where everything is.

And I think that if coaches can kind of pick a hot spot in there that they’re really passionate about and know enough about how to experience and not just that they see a need, right, and it can help them pivot and dive headfirst into that they’ll see success, same thing. What I’ve learned is, you know, with my vision where it’s going is with the corporate wellness you know I speak at conferences and things like that and I just had to learn to change my language and my messaging, and that’s okay. And I think that is a good opportunity to completely redefine what health and wellness look like. And so that’s sort of where I’ve been right now is again getting knocked down and not helping people with maybe typical things that would with their business but really kind of helping them completely refocus and rebrand and reset and figure out how they can redefine what they do and they offer and that’s kind of been my journey. 

Katerina: Yeah. Now on the corporate wellness something it’s very topical, isn’t it. Yeah, I mean, if we in the second wave then, you know, we’ll see. I mean there are… they said, 5.5 million people in the UK are in need of some kind of mental health help. Everything you know it’s not easy. I mean, you just said… I’m a full-time academic at the university and today I was very saddened, I mean, I saw this cafe, totally empty. They just shut it down and it was just like… Where’re all the people? And it’s just bad for you.. to actually see there’s no one around, and you know, business shutting down… is not easy. So I guess, yeah. There’ll be more emphasis on keeping yourself healthy through nutrition, through, you know well wellness and so on through physical exercises to keep yourself physically healthy and mentally healthy as well because again, mental health is very connected to physical health. 

Victoria: Yeah, you’re right I mean what mental health has to come first. It’s the whole. It’s the whole mindset, really been actually learning strategically what that looks like you know it. So, for example, like I might use to speak on maybe sometimes I used to speak on things like using, okay, you know, developing wellness programming for your clients that fits with your passion and your vision, okay. But, but now I might be speaking to somebody about how to find your weapons of warfare in your business or for example like using joy as a weapon, and so you can continue to build that business of your dreams, it’s like, oh, that has to do with what’s going on up here…e How can I attack that first and then… 

Katerina: Yeah. Yeah. Right. It’s just a pleasure talking to you… you’re so determined then and have this vision and I think solopreneurs didn’t figure out what the vision is because this is something that’s gonna drive them through the difficult times … but just to wrap up. Obviously, you know, our audience, female entrepreneurs… What advice can you give them, maybe one lesson you can teach them?

Victoria: Yeah, I mean, really, I think if you just have said man and we talked about it but I’ll just reiterate it is not listening to the dream it sounds silly but it’s not listening to the dream inside your heart and define your vision so clearly that you can look at what you that you know what that looks like today, like, if you had that vision in front of you, and you wrote it out… So specifically, and make sure that your dream is resonating with that and connected to that. That’s going to give you so much more clarity on where you’re supposed to go versus where you think you’re supposed to go.

You know it allows you to cast off all of those… Should I, could I… things and I would just say listen to that dream, put it in front of you. Do not be afraid of it. Do not run from it and write out, you know, how can I get there and if I don’t know… that’s okay, but maybe then write out what your life will look like or could look like when you’re living in that space and everything else will start to point towards that because you have the guiding light, you know, versus just saying I have this dream but I don’t know what to do with it. If you just allow it to come to life and don’t get too attached to the expectation of when and how they’ll happen yeah, definitely find your biggest WHY and everything will fall into place. 

Katerina: Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you for sharing your amazing story.

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