In addition to being part of IIN’s Admissions team, Zack Bodenweber is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, board-certified life coach, healthcare consultant, suicide prevention advocate, conference speaker, corporate trainer, and licensed master social worker. Using his IIN education, Zack cofounded Alchemy Total Wellness, a platform for self-transformation, and ThriveU, a workplace wellness solution.
In all aspects of his career as an agent of change, Zack combines his professional expertise in behavioral change with a deep passion for personal development in order to positively impact individuals, groups, and systems. With a mission to change the future of healthcare, guide millions to optimal wellness, and explore the outer limits of human potential, Zach shares how Health Coaches can sidestep the severe financial challenges brought on by COVID-19 by converting their practices to online businesses. He also highlights his favorite part about being a Health Coach and his best practices for living a balanced life.
Q: Can you briefly share what led you to IIN and what you’ve been doing in the health coaching space?
A: I came to IIN as a certified life coach and licensed social worker with a background in integrated healthcare. My clients were looking to improve their emotional well-being, behavioral patterns, and overall performance. Even though I was able to help my clients, I knew that nutrition and wellness had a profound impact on their success, but these topics were not being adequately addressed in our work together. Upgrading my professional skills with IIN, the world’s leading health coach educator, was a logical next step for me.
Q: How can Health Coaches take their businesses online? What are the benefits of going virtual?
A: While I had to shut down my in-person operation when COVID-19 hit New York, 80% of my clients were already virtual and the other 20% converted to online services very easily. Health Coaches have an advantage during times like these because our services can be delivered over the phone or online with video capabilities with clients anytime and anywhere (while saving money on overhead, like rent!). Understanding your client base’s preferred method of communication, and being flexible about it, will allow you to cater to their needs and enable you to reach people in different parts of the world (who you may not be coaching in person!).
Q: What are some tips you have for Health Coaches looking to create online businesses?
Speak up. People are looking for support now more than ever. Host a webinar, share resources, or go live on social media. Let doctors in your area know about your services so they have a place to refer patients who need support with stress management, healthy eating, lifestyle adjustments, and more. Post inspirational quotes on social media about overcoming adversity and the power of the human spirit. In doing so, you’ll attract your ideal audience and be viewed as a trusted authority.
Solve problems. What topics are most relevant to peoples’ lives right now? What are people struggling with? What is your niche? Remember, a business exists to solve problems, so examine where and how you can provide value. For example, people are stressed and don’t know how to manage it. Because stress compromises our immune system, you can create resources that show them how to improve their immunity.
Offer free wellness consultations. Now is a great time to offer free Health Histories! Many people right now have the time, are seeking connection, and will welcome the professional support. Let your network know through word of mouth, an email blast, and social media that you’re offering free consultations. You’ll build rapport, gain an understanding of their challenges (more market research), have the opportunity to craft a compelling invitation into your coaching program, and continue to hone your coaching skills in the process.
Leverage group coaching. Many people are facing financial insecurity or hardship at this time, but it doesn’t mean you can’t earn money. One of the best ways to make your services more accessible is by leveraging group coaching so you can charge a low per-head rate but still recoup the same amount of money (or more) as you would in a one-on-one session. Group sessions also make for an ideal solution to isolation and loneliness felt by many right now.
Q: How has the Health Coach Training Program contributed to your career success and personal growth?
A: The Health Coach Training Program truly improved my quality of life, both personally and professionally. During my time in the program, I transformed my lifestyle, eating habits, and mind-set, allowing me to feel better than I ever knew possible. This is now a gift I get to help every client who goes through my coaching programs experience. Thanks to IIN’s unparalleled business support, I have since launched my dream wellness business that serves people across the country.
Q: What’s your favorite part about your work?
A: My favorite part about the work I do is helping people break through their limitations and reshape their relationship with themselves for lasting transformation. The deep work I do with my six-month clients is truly a process of change from the inside out. Many people seek out professional help because they believe there is something wrong with them that needs to be fixed. This leads to temporary change, at best, as it is built from a place of lack, or a foundation of sand, as I often say. Self-care should be an extension of self-love. Living a healthy lifestyle is a form of self-respect. Once my clients connect with that, the lifestyle changes they make are simply a reflection of their reclaimed identity as a person who deserves an excellent quality of life. My favorite part of the work, however, might come after I’m done working with my clients, when I call them up six months after our last session and they are still thriving.
Q: What’s your top tip for creating balance between work, family, and personal well-being?
A: I’ve historically struggled with creating balance between work, family, and personal well-being. I’ve been the classic helper for a long time, giving excessively to other people while sacrificing my own health and wellness in the process. I think that all started to change once I realized that rest and recovery is essential to growth and contribution. I used to think that sleep, meditation, a home-cooked meal, a long walk in nature, or an hour with a good book was a luxury…but now I realize it is a necessity. These things are absolutely essential for me to perform at my best, as well as to look after my mental and physical health, so they no longer get pushed aside. It’s easy for my entire day to be consumed by work if I allow it. Let’s face it; there’s always something we “could” be doing. Personally, I know that if I don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen, so I developed a personal three-pillar productivity system that allows me to remain highly effective while making time for the things that keep me well, even if that means doing nothing at all. So my top tip would be to schedule time for the things that keep you well and the people you love…and attend to those times with consistency, reverence, and presence. Don’t mistake urgency for importance.
Q: Tell us your favorite way to wake up each day!
A: My favorite way to start the day is by taking my dog for a long walk. This gets me moving and helps me enter the day with a clear mind. I also love the lessons my dog teaches me. He is fully present and fascinated by the world around him. He is not trapped in the past or the future but fully engaged with the moment unfolding before him. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same walk every single day…for him, it’s brand-new each and every time. We have a lot to learn from animals.
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