Sex, drugs, rock and roll… and health? Danielle Faustini of Weehawken, NJ, graduated from Integrative Nutrition in February 2012, and now she’s bringing a brand new element of living to the music industry, where she knows from personal experience that it’s so needed.
After years of mistreating her body and one life-changing event, Danielle enrolled in the Health Coach Training Program and now plans to share her new outlook on life with traveling musicians. In her business, DaniLife Wellness, she works with artists who travel from city to city on crowded tour buses, surviving on a mixture of fast food, drugs, and alcohol. She’s catering to a very unique market to expand her vision (including an exciting business opportunity this summer!)
What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
I was a day-to-day manager at a New York City based music management company, working with many well-known, established bands, artists and musicians.
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
At the time, I was going through a particularly challenging period of my life. At age 28, I had made the decision to leave my job of six years without any real plan, was having difficulty letting go of a very toxic relationship, and had a freak thing happen to me while visiting Nashville for work. I was assaulted by a man with a crowbar and mugged in broad daylight, and was rushed to the hospital. I was at the lowest point of my life for months. One day I woke up and said, "Okay, enough is enough" and started looking online for nutrition schools, an area of interest for me. I loved how IIN combined real food with primary food. It was just what I needed and a perfect fit!
How did your life change after enrolling?
It gave me something to work towards. It changed my perspective on life and taught me so much about myself. The food and nutrition, although interesting, came secondary. I am a completely different person. I’m happier, motivated, loving life, and stronger than ever!
Which concepts and teachers had a strong impact on you?
Iyanla Vanzant was hands-down the most inspiring speaker. I have gone on to read a few of her books and have watched numerous YouTube videos. Debbie Ford was also wonderful to listen to. I’m currently reading her book. Deepak Chopra was an interesting listen. He has some very unique ideas relating to consciousness and energy. I also found the Fast Track workbook to be an extremely valuable tool in helping to build a business.
What are you up to now, and what does your clientele look like?
I am still in the beginning stages of my practice and am aiming to work with a very unique clientele: touring musicians, artists, and entertainment professionals. Being that my background is in the music business, I wanted to combine the two worlds, and offer my support to those people, especially since most of them do not have healthcare and are very much in need of my services. I was invited out on this years’ Vans Warped Tour, one of the largest music tours in North America, going on its 18th year, to promote my business. For a few select east coast dates, I will be setting up camp backstage offering yoga, Pilates and cardio kickboxing classes to artists, staff and crew. I will also be hosting private "Tune-In" sessions where I will be able to talk to artists one-on-one about their health goals. I will be setting up a booth with organic juice and food samples, and provide information on my practice with tips on how to live better while on the road.
You have a very unique niche. What sort of reaction are you getting from musicians and artists who may never have paid attention to their health before?
So far the reactions have been great! I'm still in the very early stages of building DaniLife, but those who I have spoken with are genuinely very excited about what I'm doing and trying to accomplish. Especially since there is no one else out there doing this. You know, for people who aren't in it, they have this misconception that the music and entertainment world is all glamour, fun and games. Don't get me wrong, it definitely has its perks, but the lifestyle is not an easy one. All the travel, the constant expectations, grueling schedules, being torn away from family and friends; it takes a toll on you after a while. It's no wonder why it's become a culture of excessive behavior. Musicians are twice as likely to die young than the general public, with 42 being the average life expectancy, and a quarter of deaths being drug and alcohol related. It’s not because they're not eating enough broccoli. So with DaniLife Wellness, there is a huge emphasis on primary food along with the nutrition. It's also highly focused on preventative healthcare, as most artists and musicians don't have insurance.
How does your own success story and road to wellness affect your experience as a Health Coach?
Clients can relate to me, since they live a lifestyle similar to one that I had. They know that I've been on the road, have worked with major label artists, and have that understanding of the lifestyle that no conventional health care practitioner or therapist is going to give. Also, I'm a survivor. I've experienced some intense personal challenges over the past couple of years. The beauty in it though, is that I was able to pull myself out, and came out stronger, wiser and better for it. My goal is to help others find that same strength within themselves.
How did the program help prepare you for building a business? Music is a tough industry: how did you integrate yourself?
The music industry is tough. The “sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll' lifestyle isn't exactly synonymous with health and wellness. But I think people are waking up. It's not a sustainable lifestyle, and you see music icons like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Amy Winehouse dying too young because of all the abuse they've afflicted on their bodies. So with my business, it's really about just getting the word out there and letting people know that there is an alternative.
As for IIN, I can't rave about it enough, especially the marketing and Fast Track portion of the program. From the start, I knew this was going to be my niche market, however I wasn't very clear on how to get my message across in a way that mattered. The program gave me confidence to take risks and put myself out there. I also loved how the program was structured, laying everything out step by step with examples. I still find myself referring back to the Fast Track workbook for tips every now and then!
What are some common top tips you give for staying healthy on the road?
Planning ahead is always crucial. In some of my programs, I offer healthy food guides based on a band or artist's personal travel itinerary. It's such a great tool, because it lists all of the healthy food options (restaurants, health food stores, farmers markets, etc.) in close proximity to the venues they're playing in each city. It takes the guessing out of where to eat, and provides more options to help crowd out the fast-food impulses! I also try to help artists upgrade their tour rider, which is a list of the food and drinks they receive in their dressing room prior to a performance.
How do you typically network and find clients?
When I first graduated from IIN in February 2012, I started sending out little packages of millet to contacts with my logo and facts about the grain attached to them. On the back, it prompted people to visit the DaniLife website for millet recipes and to learn a little more about what I was up to! Some people were a bit confused (and ate the grain raw straight out of the pouch!) but most people did wind up going to the website and found themselves trying a new healthy grain in the process!
Warped Tour was kind of a no brainer for me. I knew it would put me in front of the people I want to support the most, and would provide me with an amazing opportunity to get my message out to them. I'm definitely hoping I will gain a few clients from the tour, and am also thinking that if this goes well, it will provide me with a platform to package up my services and sell them to other tours and festivals across the U.S., such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lallapalooza.
How do you help your clients be successful? Can you recall a favorite health coaching moment?
I think education is the most important tool for empowering a client to want to make real change in their life. I am currently supporting a client in his struggle with psoriasis, and after handing him some reading material on holistic health and natural remedies for psoriasis, he is now coming to me with suggestions on things he wants to try! I am now merely there for encouragement and support, and to supplement the information he is acquiring on his own.
What do you envision for the future of your business?
I try not to worry about the future too much! However, it would be great if down the line I became the go-to-girl of sorts in regards to health and wellness among the music and entertainment community.
What do you love about your work?
The feeling I get being able to share my knowledge and energy with others to make this word a better place for all of us.
Connect with Danielle
On her website