In the last episode of this series, episode 54, with Worthy and Well founder Casey Berglund, we walked through her journey of fusing all of these interests, yoga, mindfulness, nutrition, health coaching, into one brand Worthy and Well and where that has led her today on a cross-country trip across Canada.
Now, we’re going to have a conversation with Casey’s business BFF, Veronica Grant. This is one of my favorite things, seeing my students find each other and really cheer each other on. What I love about Veronica, without giving it away, is how she really learned to listen to the people that she’s serving, to figure out the right next step for her and her business. You ready? Let’s dive in.
RC: I would love to know what was it that had you deciding to start your own business? What was that first little catalyst?
Honestly, it was having a job that I hated. I just hated it, it was by day two or three I was like, “Oh my gosh, what did I get myself into?” I just hated my job and I was actually applying for other jobs.
I was teaching fitness and yoga. I had been teaching fitness and yoga for probably five or six years, just nights and weekends. I was applying for a lot of corporate wellness jobs. I was trying to find jobs where I could help companies be healthier and have more yoga and mindfulness and eating programs.
I couldn’t find anything, there wasn’t a lot of jobs and there was consulting opportunities, but no one wanted to hire me because I didn’t have a four-year degree. I just had my fitness and yoga certifications. Casey Berglund Evolution of the Entrepreneur Evolution of the Entrepreneur Interview Series
I thought, “Okay, well if no one wants to hire me, then I’ll just do this on my own.” That’s pretty much how it started. I enrolled in health coaching program to get that certification so I could have a more whole encompassing view, other than just the fitness and the yoga.
That’s where it started, then one thing lead to another, which I think we’ll talk about more in the interview, but that was really what got me was I just hated my job and it was honestly I needed to get out and do something else.
RC: Walk me through that decision process. How did you decide to make that? Did you jump right into it? Did you take your time to make that your full-time gig? What did that look like?
I had been teaching yoga and fitness for many years. I was talking to a friend who had a friend who was a health coach and I just had this moment where it just hit me, “Why am I doing what I love on nights and weekends? Why am I doing that?”
That’s really where it started hitting me like, “I could do this full-time, I could make this my thing. I could be my own boss.” That’s what I started doing and around that same time was when I met my fiancee, now. We had been dating and we were getting more serious and we were living in Washington DC at the time.
He wanted to move to Dallas for a job opportunity and I thought, “Okay, well that could be a good opportunity for me ’cause I don’t have to look for a job, I can just really go into this business full-time.”
I did a little bit of both, but I would say, probably for a risk averse person, I quit my job sooner than most people would say is safe, or whatever. But it was just how life happened ’cause we were moving to Dallas together.
That’s what happened for me. I jumped in without a lot of clients, I had savings, but I had to get all new yoga clients in Dallas. Then, of course, I had my boyfriend at the time, now my fiancee as support.
RC: Tell me a little bit about the first year or so of that business and what did that look like as you really got into it?
And what were some of the challenges that popped up for you in the first few years of business?
The first year of my business was hard, I’m not gonna sugar coat it and pretend like, “Oh yeah, it was great, I got like ten clients right away.“
That was not the case for me. What’s interesting is, I got my first few clients right away. I don’t know if it was just because I hadn’t psyched myself out, yet. I was like, “Whew, this whole business thing,” It was great.
Then after those first few clients, that’s when things started to slow down, ’cause that’s when I started to get in my head and to psych myself out about it.
It was really actually that first year that I transitioned from being a health coach to a relationship coach ’cause part of the reason why I was psyching myself out about it is, as a health coach I was really helping women with … I had this whole idea of losing the last five pounds.
My whole life I thought, “Oh, if I lose the last five pounds, I can just do whatever I want, I can be happy, I can wear all the clothes I want, I can have the relationship I wanted.“
The problem is, that I was starting to get really, really bored about talking about it. I didn’t want to talk about five pounds anymore and I didn’t want to talk about body image. It’s not that those things don’t have merit, I was just getting bored.
I was sending my email newsletters on Friday mornings and I remember either Thursday at 10:00 at night or Friday at 7:00 in the morning, I was like, “Oh crap, I don’t have a newsletter, or I don’t have a blog post for this week.” It was just like pulling out teeth.?
It was a lot of just trying different things and trying to find my voice and find what I really wanted to talk about and how I really wanted to help people. Also, just gaining my confidence as a coach.
I would say that was really what the first probably ten months, ’cause it was October of that year when I started transitioning to dating coaching. It was just a lot of trying and testing things and most things not working, some things would stick.
RC: Tell me a little about the transition from health coach to dating coach.
What happened that made you go in that direction because those two things can seem really far apart.
A couple things happened. The first thing … well, I was working with a coach at the time and she was just asking me a bunch of questions one day and she asked me … she just happened to ask me a few questions right in a row where things was like, “Duh, I should be a dating coach.”
But the first thing she asked me is, “Well, what do people tell you? The people either you’ve worked with or the people that are just on your list and that you know that have replied back and emailed.”
I said, “Well, one thing that comes up all the time is people tell me that they want to lose weight so that they either: a) go out and date again or b) they feel self-conscious because their husband is skinnier than them and they don’t want to be intimate so it’s creating relationship problems.” That was coming up a lot.
I also just casually mentioned to her, I was like, “Oh yeah, my friends always come to be for dating advice. I’ve written all my friend’s dating profiles.” I was just sitting there saying like, “Oh yeah, I just had this for breakfast,” and she was sitting there like,
“Umm, hello, you know you can charge people for this, people will pay you to write their dating profile and to help them with dating and to help them with relationships.”
I sat there and I thought about it for probably like two minutes. Then within two minutes I had 50 ideas for newsletters and for blog posts.
I thought, “I really do give actually really good advice to my friends and I don’t beat around the bush and I tell it like how it is, and if someone needs to be told, ‘No, you’re the problem, it’s not guys that you’re dating, you’re actually …’ I’m really good at that.“
I just got really excited and I never looked back. I’ve never doubted like, “I don’t know did I make that transition too quickly, did I not think it through enough,” but it just something hit me and I just ran with it and I was really excited about it.
I’ve been doing it for a year and a half now, and I can still sit down and punch out 50 ideas of things that I want to talk about.
RC: I love it, and it points to a couple of thing that I feel like I’m always saying to people, one, it can be easy and, in fact, what feels easy is the direction you should go.
If you could sit down and come up with a million topics for your blog posts or content, or what have you, that is where you should be because that is your natural gift, your natural sweet spot.
And the other thing I love (and this comes from probably just writing so much copy for people) something we always say in copyrighting is, if you’re writing bullets you write, “Lose those last five pounds, so that you can …” fill in the blank.
That “so that can” piece is so crucial because it’s getting at somebody’s true desire and what they really are going after.
I think that’s why I was so stuck that first year before I transitioned because I hadn’t filled in the blank of “so that she can” I was just like, “Lose the last five pounds.” The conversation stopped there and when you’re talking about that, then there’s only so much you can write about or blog post about.
Once I added in that last part, well, when you’re talking about finding love or being happy in the relationship that you’re in, or deciding on a relationship that you’re in, I can talk all day about that.
RC: One thing that I love that you’ve been doing is your Date Yourself Challenge. I would love for you to talk about this concept and how you came up with the Date Yourself concept.
I was actually working with my coach at the time and Stevie had to go back to DC for three weeks and I was really sad about it. Of course, I think anybody would be sad if their partner was gone for three weeks. It was almost a little too sad, I had gotten a little dependent.
My coach was like, “You need to date yourself, take yourself out, get a drink, write yourself a love note, do all these things for you,” and I started to feel amazing, just so good. That’s when I thought, “Hmm, my clients could use this.“
That’s where the Date Yourself Challenge was born. Just treating yourself the way you want to be treated. I think a lot of times, my clients come to me thinking, “Well, I need to get this from my partner, I need to feel loved, I need to feel the happiness from my partner and I can’t bring that to the relationship,” the truth is, both parties have to bring that to the relationship.
Business-wise, it’s been the number one driver to my business growth. My list has quadrupled because of the Challenge, I don’t know if it’s actually quadrupled, but it’s grown a lot from that one challenge.
RC: You’ve done the challenge, you’ve also started a podcast. What has that been like for your business?
Is that the main thing you’re doing, podcasting? Or are you also blogging?
I podcast and blog a little bit, too. What was going on was actually is, I would podcast, but what was really interesting is I was podcasting and I would basically just send a glorified version of my show notes as my newsletter. What I found was that my open rate was just dropping, it was plummeting.
I don’t know if it was because people were like, “Oh, it’s the same thing on the podcast and they just listen to the podcast,” my engagement was really low. So, I decided to actually keep blogging because I literally have ideas coming out of my ears so I have enough content. I do two podcasts a week and I send a blog post a week, too.
I still never run out of ideas. In my blog post really at this point are just what’s going on for me and how that can be a lesson to whatever their thing is, whether they’re dating or in a relationship or trying to figure out.
That’s what I do now and my podcast was a game changer. I’m so glad I got the nerve to do a podcast. I did it because for a while, video was really, really nerve wracking for me and I do video, now. I don’t know if I’m into vlogging or anything, but I can get onto Instagram and do video, no big deal.
But, my podcast was great for a few reasons, one, it was just a whole new platform for people to find me and I’ve gotten clients directly from my podcast and they’ve submitted an application to work with me and I put them in my system and I realize they weren’t even on my newsletter list.
The other thing that’s been really valuable is, I’m a little bit shy and I’m also pretty introverted. It forced me to reach out to people like, “Hey, I love what you’re doing in the world, would you like to come on to my show? I’d love to interview you and talk about this topic.”
I’ve created a lot of new business friends through that and I’ve gotten invited to do summits and other kinds of stuff, or be on their podcast because I had almost an excuse to reach out to people.
RC: You said this is starting to transition, it’s a whole new direction coming up? Or just a small tweak in the direction? What’s next for you in your business?
What’s next is, a really focus on, not so much the dating, because my belief is that the dating fixes itself when other, deeper things get resolved. I don’t necessarily give out or talk about dating advice or, “What to say to get the guy, or what to say on your profile.”
Those things they’re helpful, but, I don’t think it really has a massive impact on finding love. I mean, sure it might help you find a date, but that’s not necessarily love.
My messaging now is focusing a little bit deeper and looking at three core areas that I think you have to master within yourself in order to be in a place where you’re really ready for the relationship that you want.
I find a lot of my clients they come to me and I say “Okay, if I were to tell you, if I could see into the future and if I were to say that your future partner, your soulmate is sitting right next to me, would you be ready for me to introduce him to you? Are you ready for that?”
Usually they’re like, “No, no, no.” That’s where the work really is.
That’s where I’m really turning my message and that it’s not just about the dating, and what to say, and what to do, or how to be more feminine, or whatever. Those things are important, but I really think you have to look at your past issues, your past relationships, unresolved things from childhood.
I think you have to look at what your lifestyle design is right now.
- Can you even fit a partner into your life?
- Does your life even reflect the kind of relationship that you really want?
- How do you communicate these things to people?
- Are you good at communicating? [inaudible 00:21:54] to communicate these things or are you just blaming and expecting and not actually communicating what you expect people to do or to say?
RC: Where is your business these days?
These days, I’m just having so much fun in my business because I’m so clear and confident on what I know my clients have to be able to master within themselves in order to have a relationship.
I whole-heartedly share really vulnerable blog posts and it’s not just to be like, “Oh, look at me.“ But really vulnerable posts so people can know I get it. You still want to be with this guy even though he’s a jerk to you. I’ve been there.
I know the thought process and why you want to stay in that kind of relationship. I just have the confidence to share so vulnerably in a way that really relates. It’s funny those emails always get the most unsubscribes but they also get the most, “Oh my God, I love this,” or, “Oh my God, you totally hit the nail on the head.“
That’s where I really feel like I’m driving in my business. Also, when I started dating coaching, my list was under 300 people. We just hit over 2,500 people on my list.
In just a year and a half. A lot of that really came from the Date Yourself Challenge and also having a really clear message to be a unique voice on a podcast.
I can pitch to someone and say, “Hey, this is my story, my business story, I’d love to talk about this on your podcast.” And they’re like, “Oh, I’ve never heard that before, health coach to dating coach. How does that relate?” It’s really helped with that, I’ve been able to get on to some pretty big podcasts, well-known podcasts.
I had my first five-figure launch earlier this year. That was really exciting with the Dating Mindset bootcamp, which is my signature group program. Again, that was getting real clear on what I wanted. I actually hired a copywriter to write my sales page, or my invitation page for that.
My copywriter came back and said to me, she was like, “The reason why it was so easy for me to write your copy is ’cause you were so clear on who your audience was, and what they want, and how my program could benefit them.”
That was really eye opening for me ’cause I could have hired a copywriter a year ago but it wouldn’t have had the same impact as to writing that invitation page. In the first quarter of this year, I’ve made half of what I made all of last year.
RC: Those are huge results and most of them came from getting super clear. Getting clear on who you’re serving and what they really, really wanted.
What would you say to a new entrepreneur who is just getting started in this journey? What would be your biggest piece of advice?
One thing that’s always come up for me is just trusting the process. Because despite the successes I just rattled off, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have days of self doubt, or days of, “Uh, is this really gonna work?” Or, “Can I make this happen?”
I talk about this with Casey I know you’ve interviewed her in this series, it just all comes back down to trusting the process and just knowing that I can look at the big picture and see that things are going in the direction … even if things aren’t going the way I want them to, big picture, things are going the in the direction.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I just gotta trust the process and I just have to keep getting out there and trying.” quote=”I just gotta trust the process and I just have to keep getting out there and trying.” theme=”style2″]
I became confident as a coach and confident as a business owner, not by thinking about it or by tweaking my website until the cows come home. I got confident just by getting on the phone with people.
One thing I didn’t mention when I was transitioning, one thing that I did, is I sent a private Facebook message to every single female friend I had on Facebook. I don’t care if I didn’t remember who they were, how I knew we were friends.
I just sent them a message, I said, “Hey, I just want to talk to you about dating and relationships, do you have 30 minutes?” I was even being shameless and I was basically copying and pasting the same message. I did that so many times I got locked out of Facebook for like 30 minutes.
That’s really what I did to start learning about “Okay, what are people dealing with? What are their questions? What are their struggles? What are their frustrations?” I ran with that, and I started talking about that, and I started helping with people with those specific things that came up, and that’s how I got confident.
I didn’t get confident just by reading a book about relationships, or a book about business, or thinking about what I could do, or watching someone else do what I want to do, I just started doing it.
RC: We’re always talking about getting out there and talking to people, especially and I know she’s been on your podcast, but in Episode 36 of Uncomplicate Your Business, Tammy Hackbarth came on my podcast to talk about her 100 women challenge and you basically did the same type of thing.
You were just out there talking to people and getting their insight and their thoughts around what they were struggling with. So much clarity comes from being brave enough to just pick up the phone and talk to a stranger.
It was amazing. And if people are wondering how to get their first client, that’s how I got my first dating client. I basically wrote a list, I had frustrations, I had what they wanted, and I had a couple other columns just so I could categorize everything that I was hearing.
I created a webinar around that and then I invited people to a clarity session and that’s how I got my first dating client.
RC: Thank you so much, Veronica for joining me today. I love, love, love hearing about your journey and all the little nuggets of wisdom you shared along the way.
I know people can find you at VeronicaGrant.com. Where is your other favorite place to hang out online? Where can we find you?
Both my podcast, which is Date Yourself radio and then also Instagram, I love … that’s my favorite social media platform and I am @VeronicaEGrant.
I hope that this conversation with Veronica inspires you to not quit. And instead, if you feel like you’re getting stuck in your business and maybe things aren’t taking off the way you thought they would, to learn to pivot.
This is such an important concept and it’s one that I feel like in our space, just isn’t talked about enough. In the start-up space, they talk about pivoting all the time.
In the start-up world, if a business isn’t taking off, if an idea isn’t taking off, they will simply go back to the drawing board and create a new offering at a new price point for a new audience.
They will go back to the research stage, the validation stage and get the right idea out the door. This is exactly what Veronica did when she felt like things just weren’t working exactly as she wanted, it wasn’t exactly the right path, she started listening to her potential clients again.
She started really, really paying attention to the challenges they were having. While they were coming to her, at first, for a health-related challenge, when she started hearing that underlying “why” that they wanted to have relationships again, but felt like they couldn’t yet, that’s when she knew the direction she needed to go in.
I hope you enjoyed this episode, thank you so much for being here. I can’t wait to connect with you again for the next interview in this series with Hannah Branigan. I’ll talk to you soon.