Seven years of working in human resources for large law firms resulted in Joanna Brown completely burning out in 2011—but it also may have been a key to her current success.
After realizing that the rigidity and pressures of the corporate world were doing her serious harm, she finally turned her full attention to her lifelong interest in health and wellness. Three years later, she’s a 2012 IIN graduate with a thriving health coaching and consultation practice, and is able to put to use the skills she developed during her years in the corporate world. Along with her own Health Coach practice, she offers technological consultation and social media support to wellness entrepreneurs who may lack these skills.
Most importantly, as Joanna promotes health in those around her, she’s able to nurture her own health through her work. “My days are flexible, I’m my own boss,” she says. “I have the freedom to just be me.”
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
After an experience with burnout in 2011, I realized the corporate industry wasn't for me. I'd always had a personal interest in health and wellness and a feeling that I was supposed to be in a role that helped others in this area. While recovering from burnout, I learned Transcendental Meditation, which helped me gain clarity on what I wanted to do in the future. Then, I came across a Health Coach on Google and learned about her experience with IIN on her website. I knew instantly this was the course for me!
How did your life change after enrolling?
IIN opened my eyes to a world of like-minded people and my confidence in this area grew. I made the decision to quit the corporate industry and start out as a full-time Health Coach once I received my mid-certificate from IIN. My partner supported me financially through this and it was a completely life-changing experience. I went from a mundane 9 to 5 job to starting my own business, networking, and attracting clients. I had the confidence to dive right into the deep end and step out of my comfort zone thanks to IIN. I also experimented with what I had learned, trying new foods, exercise, cooking techniques, and so on, and found what works for me. I'm the healthiest I've ever been.
Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
John Douillard is my hero! His lectures really inspired me, and I've since done further research into Ayurveda (and bought all his books!). I feel a deep connection to Ayurveda, as it has brought me more in tune with myself and nature. I’ve incorporated some of the practices into my own life and also my coaching for this reason.
Howard Lyman's lecture was very moving. I tried a vegetarian diet after hearing his lecture, but wasn't able to sustain it as my body feels better when I include meat in my diet.
I also enjoyed Mark Sisson's lectures on Primal Blueprint. It was a reminder for me to go “back to basics” when it comes to healthy living.
What are you doing now?
My online health programs navigate people through the confusing labyrinth of healthy living to become the very best version of themselves through eating seasonal foods and making effortless lifestyle choices. I’m also a technical consultant to other health and wellness entrepreneurs who wish to spread their healthy message throughout the online world. I offer website and social media packages, which also include tutorials and information on how to manage an online presence successfully.
In addition to that, I’m a virtual assistant for two wellness entrepreneurs, supporting them with managing their businesses. I spend approximately four or five hours a week managing their social media and other technical needs like podcasts, online forms, and blogs.
What makes you and your practice or product unique?
I incorporate my technical skills into what I learned from IIN and deliver group health coaching in an online format. I’ve found that clients who can’t afford one-on-one coaching prefer this format and get great results in a group setting.
I also found that many wellness entrepreneurs lack the technical skills that I developed throughout my corporate years. I can help them with their online presence, creating beautiful personalized websites and social media pages. I can also provide advice to new coaches, as I've been in their shoes before and felt what they are experiencing at the start of their business.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
Sydney has a large wellness industry, which is fantastic. I live in Bondi, which is a hub of health stores, cafes, restaurants, and yoga studios. There is an increasing number of IIN students here, and therefore more qualified Health Coaches today than when I enrolled two years ago. However, everyone uses what they learn at IIN in their own way. I'll always believe there's a need for Health Coaches here, because although I live in a healthy bubble there's still a significant proportion of overweight, unhealthy people in Australia, with obesity rates rising to the numbers in the U.S.
Connect with Joanna
On her website