How a mentor will help you avoid overwhelm in your complimentary health practice
You’re a healer; you give to others. So it makes sense that you need serious support for yourself so you don’t burn out and can continue to serve others.
As a mentor and coach, I’m often asked about the different roles that I play for various clients, and I wanted to speak to that. To unravel the benefits of both, depending on your needs.
A mentor is someone who has gone before you in a field that is similar or the same as yours, and is laying the steps for you to follow.
A good mentor will not try to be all things to all people. I personally work with discovering your own unique metrics for success and ways to optimise them. I am not an SEO expert, nor can I offer you guides to six-figure marketing funnels (although I can refer you to people who can do all those things and more).
A coach’s role is to empower you and guide you in your own personal life and/or business through self-discovery. It doesn’t matter what field you work in, or what area of your life you’re looking for help with. A coach can meet you where you’re at and help you get to where you want to go.
Being a coach is an essential part of my mentoring due to the personal and authentic component of practicing in health and wellness. To be honest it’s where most of the business growth is. I focus on mentoring health practitioners to establish and grow their business, but along the way there’s always personal coaching available to give you a holistic helping hand.
A good mentor or coach will have an agreed timeline, plan and price and include plenty of reflective practices as well as experiential outcomes (that’s the bit where you get to see how far you’ve come).
If you are in the health industry, practicing acupuncture, osteopathy, naturopathy, chiropractics, massage, healing or any other natural treatments, there are so many good reasons to have someone holding space for you and assisting you on what can often be a very solo path.
There are a number of factors to consider when looking for a mentor or coach and why you might need one in the first place.
The first and most simple answer is because it’s always easier to see from the outside in. A mentor with practical experience in your field will notice your unique skills that you assume most people must have – because for you it’s second nature (it’s not) – and help you to maximise, hone and honour them. Mentors notice your particular struggles and can help you to outsource them or simply deal with them differently.
The second is because you might not be taking enough care of your awesome self. Many health practitioners start on their professional path after a life-changing experience. Some are forced to deal with a health crisis of their own, while others need to care of someone they love. From that point on, gathering information, experiencing treatments and discovering and learning everything you can about your body, mind and spirit becomes your new focus.
It’s often this same desire to help that can get in the way and block your path forward. Compassion and a desire to help is deeply admirable, but not at the expense of your own health and wellbeing.
- Are you saying yes all the time?
- Do you have trouble charging what you’re worth?
- Are you blocking out your time off? Or do you help others with ‘home’ treatments on your days off?
Often it’s not until you’re feeling burnt out and resentful that you wonder how on Earth you could possibly do this as a full-time job. Or perhaps you’ve considered quitting to return to the day job you left for this new path.
Does this sound like you?
I want you to know it doesn’t have to be this way. Honestly, there’s an easier way to follow your heart.
Setting healthy boundaries, being clear on what your ideal week looks like (the number of clients you see and what you personally need to be the best version of you) isn’t often taught in colleges.
Let me tell you right now these are magical, practical, and necessary skills that will reap rewards in all areas of your life!
In the health industry things can often feel a little more personal. There seems to be less of a barrier between your emotional world and your clients. You need to have really clear boundaries and skills to deal with people in highly emotional states; this can takes time and practice. The support of a coach or mentor can guide you in these support skills.
I love sharing my favourite life hacks knowing with wholehearted joy that they WORK!
When I mentor practitioners, some of the most powerful moments happen when we print out a weekly calendar and play Tetris with their schedule until it fits and feels good. And I’ll be real here, there are tough conversations and tears over things that need to be outsourced or simply removed as they no longer serve.
I am the big sister mentor you’ve been looking for after all!
From my experience there are a few mistaken beliefs holding back the amazing women I mentor.
- “I must feel or have experienced everything that my clients are going through before I can help them.”
- “I should be older before I can have a worthy opinion.”
Some people think that a certain number of years on the planet qualifies you to have an educated opinion on something. But the metrics of Age, Experience and Time aren’t transferable. They just aren’t. There will be situations that you have experienced that others twice your age haven’t, not all life experience is necessarily age dependent.
I know plenty of amazing acupuncturists in their twenties who are currently childless running incredibly successful clinics specialising in fertility. These women are gentle and compassionate and incredibly well versed in all the latest studies and practices. Clients of any age are going to benefit from their education and passion.
One skill or trait that is often put down to being age related is confidence. This can work either way here I’m going to be honest. I look back at how gung ho I was in some of my early years and the single-minded focus and belief that acupuncture was going to change everyone’s life! (I mean it IS amazing.) It was only as I accrued some more life experience (and humility) that I realised just how little I would ever truly know of the 3000-year-old art and science that I practice. But here’s the wonderful thing: This only increased my thirst to learn more and be a lifelong student to the art of Chinese Medicine. This has benefited my clients immensely and is the most empowered place to be of service from.
Having someone who has walked that path 1000 steps in front of you is going to save you from many of these pitfalls and offer navigation skills as you get clear on the kind of practitioner you want to be.
- “I just need to do the right course and then I’ll be good enough.”
I’m certainly not saying that you should throw yourself onto the unsuspecting public without adequate qualifications, but being a student is a lifelong path and one that maintains a humble and curious nature. These two qualities are a so essential to cultivate. And yes you can be humble and successful and charge your worth. These are NOT mutually exclusive, just let me show you how!
Start before you think you are ready. Begin and the path will begin to take form in front of you!
- “I need to be an expert in all areas of my business.”
This will hold you back. Every. Single. Time.
Let me explain by sharing my story. I’ve been in the health industry for 20 years. Eight years ago I woke up and realised that I was a business and I needed to start acting like one. I needed to back myself and take myself and my business to the next level. I had no idea exactly what that was at the time.
Now If I expected myself to be an expert in social media, marketing, design, writing, and publicity… that would have been pretty crazy. I’m an acupuncturist. It had taken me years and years of solid and dedicated work on those skills alone and I didn’t want (or need) to become an expert in a bunch of other fields.
Finally, and after torturing myself for just long enough, I found a mentor in Samantha Gowing. Over the years I have had great support from mentors, kinesiologists, psychologists, and not to mention a kick-ASS VA and a mastermind group. It took a little while to find the right people who got my brand and got me and the way I like to work. If not for that first mentor I might still be believing that silly story of mine that I should be able to do it all on my own!
With my skills as an acupuncturist, medical intuitive and life coach mixed with my own personal experience of navigating the ups and downs of life and business I have a very powerful skill set to assist you to on your journey.
If you’re curious about mentoring or coaching and would like to know what the next step for you might look like, head over and find out more.
Note: Neither a coach or mentor can qualify or substitute for the services of a mental health professional, especially psychologists and psychiatrists. There have been times where I have lovingly referred applying clients onto other more appropriate allied health professionals. Feel free to get in touch if you’re not sure who is the best person help you.
N. McarthyCayman Islands / (After an 8 week life coaching program)
Honestly, when I look back over the last couple of months and realise how far I have come, I am amazed and incredibly grateful for the love and support and just presence of you in my journey. Life is beautiful and you Keri are an angel Grace and Love, Nic
Eva-Rose JoyceAcupuncturist after 6 months of Practitioner Coaching.
I enrolled in a year's worth of Practice Mentoring with Keri 6 months ago. It has been wonderful to have her on the other end of the phone for assistance with tricky clients, decisions on the direction of my practice and to benefit from her extensive experience in the spa industry. She’s generous with her knowledge and time, her articles are insightful and practical and I really feel she really speaks my language! I’m looking forward to what is in store for the next 6 months as I feel I have already come a long way.
S. Roth (after a 1:1 session)/ S. Roth
I am home from Retreat and just was telling a friend how seeing you really helped me last week and I just wanted to say thank you for your care. It really helped me through my pain seeing you.
I have found your gorgeous affirmations (that I have been reading over and over!) so helpful. Thank you so much for the healing work you did for me - you have such a beautiful caring nature, it helped me so much xx
Keri will lovingly and gently guide you through any emotional physical mental and of course spiritual blocks that you may be facing. She is not only a gifted intuitive but is highly intelligent and brings a sense of humour and ease to her work.
Lara GoodeOsteopath / South Eastern Osteopathy (Soon to be found at Rawreliefosteopathy.com.au!)
Words simply cannot describe just how amazingly magical Keri is. Starting my journey on an 8-week life coaching packaged was the best thing I ever did. Having such a supportive, intelligent and purely down to earth mentor literally changed my life. Her endless devotion and encouragement throughout our coaching sessions has helped me learn new life skills (both personal and business associated). As our program ended (and many tears were shed) I decided I could not possibly live without her and continued a monthly ‘maintenance’ of life guiding goodness! This coupled with body and soul nourishing acupuncture I wouldn’t have it any other way. Keri is now a valuable referral for many of my own clients and a close friend 😊 Jump on board people! You won't be disappointed! Xx
Ali HillPsychologist/Speaker/Awesome Human
Keri’s ability to hold space when I was feeling hopeless, to cut through the noise when I was drowning is her gift to busy women. With her unique insights, her depth of experience and quirky humour, having her as a health coach bought me back to myself. When doubt rung louder than reason in my head, Keri’s practical advice gave me permission to be the biggest and best version of me. Every woman who is busy, drowning, losing sight of themselves will get huge value out of the words and wisdom that Keri shares. Do yourself a favour and get on board. I know that my future self is eternally grateful for the investment I made in having Keri in my corner.
SheridenStudent of Nutrition
Thank you so much for sending me all those resources, and for taking the time to chat with me too! I felt so much better about my future even just after the little chat we had. That really meant the world to me and spun me a 180 in the right direction to a more positive outlook - so, thank you again.
IreneAged Care Worker and Magical Human
Thank you for the session on Friday I feel amazing! I seem to have more energy and even invited friends over for dinner on Saturday night which is not like me I don't usually initiate this but I did, so I'm feeling very happy and keep telling my family that I have had a great weekend. I am so happy to have met you and grateful that you have come into my life.