Today’s Cup of Cold Water comes from my dear friend, Kendra Cannoy. Kendra spent 10 years as a physical trainer, and she’s been teaching nutrition classes for the last several years. She’s one of the most happily independent women I know, and I’m so happy to get to share this memory of a “cold water” moment from her life.
The memory is so vivid of me lying on the couch, leg thrown over the back and talking on the phone. It was a warm, spring afternoon in LA, and I was listening to Colleen explain what this nutrition program was all about. She talked about concepts I hadn’t heard of before like inflammation, green pea protein and detoxification. She also mentioned things like network marketing and supplement sales that immediately made me put up my guard. What was I being sold on here?
My mind went between listening intently and then thinking about my current personal training business, my ability to teach and then not wanting to get sucked into something I wasn’t sure about. When I raised my concerns after a good 30 minutes of her talking, she spoke very quickly and succinctly about my fears. It was after a bit of that that she said the words I will never forget, “Well what do you have to lose?”
In that instant I stood outside of myself and saw a young woman who was recently divorced, living on her own for the first time in her life in a city far away from most of her friends. ”What do I have to lose? Ha. Well that is a very good question.”
I had time on my hands and the possibilities for the next chapter in my life were endless. Apparently teaching the 28 Days To Health nutrition course and selling supplements would be my first adventure.
It was at that moment that Colleen began to share her LARGE cup of cold water with me. After 3 years of teaching this program and selling the nutrition products that compliment the program I have learned a wide variety of lessons from her and the business:
You don’t have to be an expert. Many of us feel like we have to be an expert in something to make money working in it. I wasn’t a certified dietician or nutritionist, and I knew other people who knew a lot more than me about the topic. What I did have was passion for health and wellness, a background in fitness training and the ability to read and Google search. Every time I taught a class, I spent the next week researching any answers I hadn’t had so I would be prepared the next time.
Stay focused. Focus lends itself to so many aspects of business. Nutrition is a constantly evolving science, and everyone has an opinion or philosophy. Clients and other professionals would question my theory and challenge my knowledge. Colleen continued to remind me that the program worked for me and was changing the lives of the vast majority of the clients I worked with. The ability to improve the health of others has always been my bottom line.
Leverage your time. Working with clients one-on-one is great but can be limiting financially. That was what I did as a personal trainer, and there is a cap to your potential income with this model. Getting a class together of two-to-30 (or more) people allowed me to maximize my time spent so I had more time for other aspects of the business– and of course personal time. Even better has been teaching others “to fish,” or in this case to teach the program themselves, and I make a commission on their sales.
Sell consumable products. The classic example is the Ginsu Knife products. They are such good quality and indestructible that you will never have to buy them again. Oops! So much for repeat customers! Having a product that clients will continue to order every month or so gives you residual income. What that means for me is that I can travel or take breaks from “working” the business but still make money. Colleen and I took a trip to Argentina less than a year after I started with 28 Days To Health, and I would login and watch as clients were ordering product while we were drinking wine and having steak. (Both inflammatory but it’s all about balance!)
That’s when I was hooked. Colleen had ultimately taught me how to have a job where I positively affected the lives of others and could live the lifestyle I desired.
I am so grateful that I looked past my fears and doubts that afternoon on the couch and drank some of the cold water. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and really ask ourselves, “What do we have to lose?” in order to become successful and at the very least try new things.
Kendra Cannoy is currently living in San Francisco and teaching the 28 Days To Health program in various places around the city. If you are interested in learning more about the anti-inflammatory diet or looking for a nutrition program to bring into your business please contact her through her website, KendraCannoy.com.