#284: How Shannon Left Her Job and Made the Leap into Full-Time Health Coaching

full-time health coaching - Shannon smiling
It can be scary to think about giving up a good salary for the uncertainty of your own business. Listen in as Shannon describes how she went from 1 client, to completing Fast Track, and 1 year later jumping into her own full-time coaching practice. Join the Fast Track 2024 waitlist for best pricing and bonuses at: HealthCoachPower.com/waitlist
 
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Full transcript:

Michelle:
Hello there, health coaches! We have a bonus episode for you this week and I'm really, really excited about it. Shannon Hansen is joining me to talk about how she recently made the leap from her job, the JOB, to health coaching full time. Shannon, thank you for joining me.

Shannon:
Hi Michelle. Thanks for having me.

Michelle:
This is so cool. I mean, I remember when I left my corporate job for health coaching, but I got laid off. I didn't know how I was ever going to actually walk away and they kind of did it for me. So it was very, very scary. What you've done I think is so courageous. I can't wait to hear your story. And I know everyone is like, this is the dream. This is the dream. Do you feel like you're living the dream?

Shannon:
I do. Every day I am like, I can't believe this is my life. I really can't. My husband always says, you built this from nothing. You built a business out of nothing. You really did it. I'm like...

Michelle:
You have, I've had that same comment that people have said to me, you really just made this from scratch. It's not like you bought a franchise or you're following some exact blueprint or whatever. You really, and I think you'll talk more about that, how it evolves over time. Yeah, yeah. Alright, so let's start in the beginning because everyone's going to want to know how does this happen and how long did it take? So you came into my world around 2022. When did you become a health coach?

Shannon:
I got my certificate in March of 2022, so it was the one year course I went through IAN, and if you don't know with IAN, they recommend that you start practicing dipping your toe in around six months. So of course that's what I did. I was like, Hey everyone, I'm health coach now buy my thing.

Michelle:
And how'd that go?

Shannon:
Not well. I mean it was awkward and weird and I had a lot of people like, well, what's a health coach? Do I need a health coach? I'm not sure. And I'm like, well, I help you get healthy and live your best life. And of course, as you know that if you speak to everyone you're speaking to no one. So learning to niche down was a big part of getting clients.

Michelle:
Yes. I remember when we met in 2022, we met because you joined Fast Track, which if I recall, we just kind of crossed paths at the right time and you decided to jump into it and you just sound, you don't going to sound like this type of person. I know you are the type of person now that we've worked together. When you do something, you do it. When you hit the ground, you're running. You were just like, Fast Track sounds good. I'm in.

Shannon:
Yes, yes. So a fellow student from IAN, we had kept in touch and she took your HPU course and so we were chatting and she's like, oh, have you heard of Michelle Leotta? And I'm like, no. She said, check her out, she's on Facebook. So I started following you and I instantly was like, oh my gosh, this is my person. I loved your vibe, I loved everything you were saying. You were a health coach. You had experience. And not just that but the marketing and I was just resonating with everything you said. So luckily it was right before you did a launch for FastTrack. And so I had taken a couple of your free master classes or courses that you were offering up until then. And I remember you, one of your bonuses was if you were the first, I don't know, five or 10 people to sign up, you got three. One-on-one sessions with Michelle. And I was like, I have to get these. And it launched at 6:00 AM I remember. And I was up and ready to hit the buy button right at 6:00 AM and I did and I got 'em and I was like, I get one on one with Michelle.

Michelle:
Like a little fan girly, which I was so fun to hear about.

Shannon:
I was crushing.

Michelle:
I should just explain to anyone who's listening. You mentioned Fast Track, you mentioned HPU. So HPU is Healthy Profit University. I used to just have one course, one marketing course. Now inside the university we have quite a few different courses. We have a copywriting course, we have the jumpstart kit and Fast Track is our flagship program. It is my main program. We only do it once a year and it's very hands-on and project based. Was that scary for you? Because when we get into Fast Track, it's not like, hi, let's sit around and learn. Let's learn theory. It's like, okay, we're doing something.

Shannon:
Yes, definitely taking action is a big thing. So you can sit around and learn and download more podcasts and read more books and take more courses. But if you don't take action, none of that is any good. So we were talking before, I learned that taking imperfect action is a key to this. Done is better than perfect. So I took your courses, I watched the videos, I watched them again and again, and I just immersed myself in the material and I just committed to doing whatever you said I was going to do. I'm going to do this no matter what. And so one of the things was niching down, which is scary. You don't want to niche down because you don't want to miss out on anyone. So I was considering niching down to women over 40 and I thought, well what about men? I'm going to miss out on coaching.

Maybe I want to work with men. And then what about younger women? I'm going to miss them. But if you are speaking to everyone, you end up speaking to no one. So that learning, that key messaging to target exactly who you want, it resonates with someone. If you don't have those key keywords, then nobody's going to hear them. So I noticed once I started doing that, people were like, oh, I'm a woman over 40, what do you have to say? Oh, I want to do what you're doing. You look like you're having a good time. So that started working for me and I was like, okay, I'm just going to go with this. And so then next it was we did a five day challenge. So that was terrifying because we were to go on Facebook Live and I've never done that before. And again, I just decided I'm going to do it. What's the worst that can happen? So I followed your steps. It was laid out for me. It was very simple but scary and I did it anyways. And I got nine clients from my first five day challenge. And that's when I was like, okay, Michelle, whatever you say I'm going to do, you obviously know what you're talking about.

Michelle:
Wow. So the next step was, that's a huge jump. You were so many of our Fast Trackers and I should mention every year Fast Track is a little bit different and the projects are a little bit different. But the point is we get you doing, we get you out there, we get you visible. We have you hosting events, meeting people, bringing more names onto your mailing list. So you did all of that and boom, nine clients right off the bat was a huge jump from I think you had one prior one.

Shannon:
Yes.

Michelle:
That's awesome. But I got to say, nine clients isn't enough to actually quit your job. So talk to us a little bit about what happened after FastTrack because it was about a year later that you decided I'm done. What was your other job for Just let everybody know.

Shannon:
I was managing a restaurant in Valle Beach. Beautiful. And I loved it. I loved it, loved the people there. I'd been there for eight years, made great money. So that was the hard part. It was like, oh, am I really going to leave all this money? So I knew, I mean it wasn't filling my soul at all, but I knew health coaching is what I wanted to do. And I had just read Amy Porterfield's book two weeks notice, and she recommended writing down pick a date anytime in the future, pick a date, write it on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror. And this was in May, and I picked November 1st. I said, this is it. I'm going to be done. Because I knew it would be hard to leave that money. So I put it on the mirror and November 1st came and I was gone. That was my last day.

Michelle:
That is so exciting. I mean, we have coaches who've been kind of dabbling and never quite getting enough clients and never really able to make that leap for years, decades sometimes. And you're able to do it so quickly. I think it's a real testament to your character that you're able to say, okay, I'm going to do this thing. I'm going to follow the steps even if I'm scared, even if I don't totally understand the why or the how, let me just lean on someone who's been there. I think it is really tremendous. So in that year's time, what I saw you do, even just watching you on social media here and there, I could see that what you were doing was getting very, very visible to your audience of women over 40. You were offering stuff for free very consistently. So I knew you were gathering all their names for your mailing list and that's such a mainstay to building a business that can thrive. And then what kind of offers were you making on the end? Were you selling a six month health coaching package?

Shannon:
So at first when I got those nine clients, that's what I was offering because that's what I am suggested with six months. And I was charging $900, which I was like, oh my gosh, I can't believe I'm asking that much. But people were paying it sometimes they needed to make payments and they were people I knew. So I was like, okay, that's fine. I was just winging it. It evolved over time. I was like, that didn't quite work. Well, what if I did it more like this? And so I did probably three or four different iterations of what my program would look like until I got it to where it is now. And most of my clients are now virtual. I also got my personal training certificate so I could coach them with fitness and nutrition. So that's kind of how I do it now is mostly online. Sorry, I forgot what, I forgot the question.

Michelle:
That's okay. I'm still stuck on the part where you said I was winging it because anyone who thinks that anyone in business knows exactly what they're doing, everything is 100% perfect before they move forward. That's a lie. That is just one big fat lie. And to just put that out there and normalize that we're all winging it. Can you think of anything that you did during that time that failed miserably or that you were like, oh, that was just a terrible idea?

Shannon:
Yes. So I wanted to do a beta course to see if I can do a group coaching program, and I offered it for $200 and it was six months and and I had all these PDFs and I recorded all these video lessons and that was just way too much of a commitment for way too little of a cost because what I found is if people don't pay, they don't pay attention. I have given my services away for free to people who I was like, oh, they can't afford it. They don't do anything with it. They're like, yeah, I'm just going to do my own thing. And they end up just wasting your time and their time and it's very frustrating. So you're not doing anyone any favors by undercharging them.

Michelle:
I remember saying to you, Hey, if you just signed nine clients right away, guess what, Shannon? It's time to raise your price. And you were like, what?

Shannon:
Yes. Oh my gosh.

Michelle:
I'm glad that you've learned though that there is a certain amount at which you're like, this didn't make sense. This isn't worth it to me or to the client. It's really in everybody's best interest to charge a number that makes 'em commit. That gets great results because then you get those great success stories in your business. And speaking of that, tell us about one or two client success stories. How does it feel to be changing lives the way you are now?

Shannon:
Oh my gosh, it is so great. I love it so much. Like I said, pinch me every day. I can't believe it. I let my clients text me anytime they need to, which luckily nobody's really taken too much advantage of that yet. But I say, tell me your wins. Tell me your struggles. And I have a group board where they can all post them there too, so that's cool. But I have women who, one woman has a small child, she's been putting on weight for years and years and years, and just by changing how she eats and working out, she's not killing herself in the gym, but she's just doing regular workouts. She lost 20 pounds in a month and a half, and she's just like, I don't believe I'm, I just feel so blessed to get to witness this. It's an amazing feeling to be part of somebody's, you're changing people's lives and then that is going to in turn change her daughter's life, her daughter seeing her exercise and take care of herself, that is going to change her life. So it's a ripple effect.
Michelle:
It is, and it is. And that's how I've always felt like on my own, in my own health coaching practice, I would be able to reach this client and that client and many clients through the years and it was amazing. And now I get to reach all of you and then you reach it. It's just an exponential number of clients. The only thing is I don't get to talk to them directly. So I really appreciate you sharing stories like that because in a small way I'm like, yes, this is how we ripple it out. Marketing really is at the heart of it because if you can't reach clients then you can't help clients and then your health coach certification just kind of goes to waste because you're not connecting with anyone and not changing lives. I just want to throw out there, so for anyone who's like, I like the sound of this, if Shannon can do it, I can do it too fast Track only happens one time of year, one time per year. So it's coming up this spring. If you're listening to this episode now and you're like, I want in on this, I want to do like Shannon did, the wait list is open so you can get on that. It's at health coach power.com/waitlist. And that's what you were talking about. You were on the wait list and as soon as we opened enrollment for the wait list presale, you were like, boom in there.
Shannon:
I'm in there. Yes, I did not want to miss it.
Michelle:
And you didn't. And we'll be doing that again this year where there's a special presale day. Wait, listers do get preferential pricing and bonuses. So even if you're not sure, like Shannon, because Shannon was so sure, but even if you just want to check it out, there's no obligation. Put your name on the wait list and then all the details will be revealed to you in due time. We'll open up the presale and you'll say, oh yeah, this is something I can go for. Or maybe it's not the right year for you. You know what I mean? Shannon? I think it all just hit at the right time. And if we can just be there when our clients need us, that's the thing. Right? The client you were just telling us about, she was ready when she crossed paths with you.
Shannon:
Yes, absolutely. I have had clients that were not ready, they thought they were ready. And that's another thing that I think can be kind of a trap in the beginning is you meet with someone and you come up with a plan like, okay, they say, yes, I'm going to do this this week. I'm going to go for a walk. I'm going to drink my water. And then you meet with them again and they're like, did you do the things? And they're like, no. And as a health coach, that's brand new. You start to go, oh my gosh, I am horrible at this. I'm not good. Nobody's going to come see me. I can't make change happen. And I would say to that, that's not the right client. They weren't ready. They may have thought they were ready, but maybe they're not ready.
Michelle:
That happens. It happens all. And you've had a lot of clients now, a lot of different experience. You know what? We have our Get More Clients bootcamp starting up in just a couple days. And I think some health coaches are like, heck yes, I want to get more clients and I want to leave my job, or I want to, whatever it is that goal is. And other clients are like, I'm not sure. Or I don't know. I feel weird charging money for health coaching. And what can you say about, is it selfish to want to make money? Is it greedy to say I need more clients? How is that manifesting in your life in terms of this new financial stability that you found?

Shannon:
I think maybe it did definitely feel like that in the beginning, but as I've gone on, like I said, if you're doing them a disservice by not making them invest, because if they're not investing, they, there's no buy-in no skin in the game. So it's like, why should I try? I don't have anything invested, but if they are charged a premium, they're going to be like, I'm all ears. Tell me what to do. I'm going to do it. And that's exactly what I found is happening to the T.

Michelle:
See, now you are a psychologist, right? We're just going to learn about human behavior. If you don't take our advice, and for everyone listening, we just go ahead and learn on your own. You're going to come back to this on your own. You're going to say, oh yeah, just like Shannon said, if there's no skin in the game, they just don't show up. It just doesn't happen. You're right. So it is in the best service of both your business and the people out there that need your help, that you offer your services, that you learn how to market yourself because they're not knocking on your door most likely. You got to put yourself out there and be visible so that they go, oh, I want what she has. Oh, I like that. I know you do a lot of recipes, you do a lot of great stuff. Why don't you tell all of our health coaches where to find you in case they want to. Everyone likes to look and see what the other health coaches are doing. Yes.

Shannon:
Please follow me. My Instagram handle is @HansonShannon. It's one word. And Hanson is H-A-N-S-O-N. And I'm also on Facebook, but not as much. So most of my stuff is on Instagram.

Michelle:
All right, so Instagram is the best place to find you. And that just reminds me one time I was looking for your website. You got a website up?

Shannon:
I do have a website. It is myvitalcoach.com.

Michelle:
And has that always been up? How long have you had that website?

Shannon:
I remember that's one of the things Michelle says in the beginning. She's like, you don't need a website. Because of course when you first start you're like, I need a business card, I need a website, I need to do all these things. I don't even use my website. I really do not. I have a recipe book that it's for sale, and I do have that there on my website. But other than that, I haven't gotten any leads from it. I don't really direct any traffic there. Most of where I direct people for my coaching is one of the suggestions you made. It's for just simple Google form that is a client application for a free 30 minute consultation. I have that in my link tree just linked up there. And so if anyone wants to is interested, I just direct 'em to that. And if they don't want to take the time to fill out the form, they're probably not going to be a client anyway. But anyone who's interested, they're like, oh, let me go find the form.

Michelle:
Yeah. So do you need a website to get started? No. You do not need a website to get started. All you have to do is start learning how to market yourself like you've done. Shannon, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today.

Shannon:
Thank you for having me. I am so grateful to be here.

Michelle:
So fun. And you guys, we have our bootcamp starting up soon. Get More Clients. You can sign up now for free. It's at healthcoachpower.com/getmoreclients. And if you are like, I want to check out this whole Fast Track thing, remember to put your name on the wait list for that at healthcoachpower.com/waitlist and we'll see you all soon. Thanks again, Shannon.

Shannon:
Thank you.