We chat to Vicky of The Flourishing Pantry about building a successful business and blog in the Health and Wellness world and how she is helping others to do the same.
Q1. How and why did you get into Coaching and the Wellness space?
I got into coaching and wellness via an extremely convoluted route! Definitely not a straight forward path - I originally worked for 10 years in the classical music industry.
I suffered from IBS which was gradually getting worse through my 20s. While I was still in full-time work in music I started my blog The Flourishing Pantry to share my own personal journey making changes to my diet and exploring health. It has grown from there into a hub for healthy eating and living tips for entrepreneurs.
I love creating recipes and writing blog posts about healthy living and I wanted to give back in the wellness world. But I didn’t know how. Becoming a Health Coach or a Nutritionist never appealed, it just wasn’t sitting right.
It was only when I started to really listen to the audience that I had grown and the questions I was getting asked that I realised what my business should be.
I wasn’t being asked healthy living advice. I was being asked things like how to start a blog, how to work with brands, how to use Pinterest, how I drive traffic to my website. These were all questions coming from my community and they were the people I loved helping and supporting. This was my tribe, this was my purpose!
I took a coaching course and this pulled it all together. I now offer 1:1 coaching services to existing and budding wellness business owners, as well as sharing the resources and knowledge I have built through growing my own award-winning blog. It’s the perfect combination, suddenly everything has clicked.
Q2. How did you start this process? What were your first steps?
Honestly, it’s all been about experimenting. As you can tell from my story, where I am now wasn’t planned!
My first steps were just to have the courage to start a blog, show up regularly for it and create content, and to be open to seeing where it took me. If you’d told me when I started three years ago I’d be doing what I’m doing now, I would never have believed you.
Q3. For anyone reading this who doesn’t know you, what would you love to tell them?
Whatever it is you want to achieve, you can do it. You are already enough. You just have to believe.
I have spent too long always thinking I need to learn more, do more and be more. It’s something I see a lot of my clients struggle with and it really holds them back too. Believing you have value to add to the world and that your voice and experience are just as valid as anyone else's is paramount to building success. Start with your mind and your internal dialogue. Everything else will follow.
Q4. As a coach what is the most important thing you try to ‘teach’ or pass onto the people you work with?
There is no blueprint for success. There is no downloadable or guaranteed formula to follow that is going to get the result you want. Sorry but it’s true!
Coaching is very much about trusting the client has everything they need and will make the best decisions. I don’t give advice or tell people what to do as a coach. It’s about empowering people to trust themselves and know they can do it. It’s way more powerful than a training guide. It gives clients the belief in themselves and the tools to manage their own mindset, even once I’m not there.
Q5. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt on your journey so far?
The biggest lessons I’ve learned have been about myself. Working for someone else you don’t ever really analyse yourself. You just do the work you’re given and take the pay-cheque at the end of the month.
As an entrepreneur I’ve learned so much about myself - the way I work best, the internal dialogue I hear the most, how I value myself and how I can help others and be of service. It’s a true exploration, which can be messy and uncomfortable, but is so revealing and rewarding if you persist.
Q6. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
I’m lucky that I’m naturally quite a focused person. For example, I’m writing this having sat down in a cafe three hours ago. I have been typing away ever since without even noticing the time flying!
However, we do all hit walls where we feel overwhelmed and unfocused. When those come up I definitely step away from the screen. Fighting emails does nothing to improve the situation.
I will take a walk, do some meditation, watch a TED talk or get in the kitchen and get creative. I try at these moments to just go easy on myself and not feel angry about losing focus. It’s totally natural, all part of the process and being kind will unlock a lot more than being harsh and unforgiving to myself which will make me shut down.
Q7. Do you have any habits that form your daily routine that you swear by?
Writing a daily to-do list every evening, so I’m clear on what I’m going to focus on the next day. I try to link this into my weekly and monthly goals, so it always makes sense and everything I do is driving towards the same purpose.
Daily meditation - just 10-15 minutes. I use a free app called Insight Timer which offers loads of variety and introduces me to loads of new practitioners and styles.
Morning exercise classes - these get me out of bed so there’s no time for excuses! I find they leave me more positive and energised for the day ahead at the desk.
Q8. Who inspires you?
Anyone doing their own thing and making a living through their own work and talent.
I really admire creative coach Jen Carrington, Lauren Armes from Well To Do, authors like Dolly Alderton and Laura Jane Williams and creators like Niki Webster from Rebel Recipes. They’re all proof to me every day of what is possible working for yourself and doing what you love.
Q9. What would be the best piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about starting a business?
Work on your mindset before anything else. And know that you’re in it for the long-term!
If you truly want a business that’s going to stick around, don’t chase fast growth or overnight success. Set yourself up for consistency and showing up for yourself and your business every day.
Q10. The wellness industry is such a busy space, with so much information on offer, it can be overwhelming! What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession?
I think a lot of advice out there for growing a wellness business can be totally overwhelming and stops people even beginning.
I get really annoyed at coaches and mentors that insist that you need to have a crystal clear niche, in-depth SEO knowledge or perfectly polished branding before you get started. Of course, those things are important. But do you know what’s more important? Just starting somewhere!
It’s only from starting somewhere that you can build, change and grow. If you wrap yourself up in the technicalities and stare at a blank page for too long you’ll completely psych yourself out. Starting somewhere, imperfectly, will teach you so much more than trying to achieve perfection and following every else’s advice straight away.
Q11. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Starting my blog. At the very start, I invested in the No Bull Business School online course on how to start a blog. And investing in professional coaching training with Erickson Coaching
Both have been totally life-changing. Investing in yourself shows the universe you’re taking yourself seriously. It’s super powerful and unlocks so many other opportunities!
Huge thank you to Vicky for the amazing interview! And make sure you give her a follow and some support on her social media handles we have linked below
Insta - @theflourishingpantry
Twitter - @flourish_pantry
Pintrest - The Flourishing Pantry
Facebook - theflourishingpantry
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