Why I'm going from 8-5 grind to coaching freelancers to feel great and work better
I started freelancing for the same reasons most of us do:
Overwhelmed by a public health clinic schedule I didn’t set.
Eager for the flexibility to work when I want.
Hungry for a career progression that lets me enjoy time with family and friends.
Determined to use my unique combo of skills and knowledge to change the world.
When my boss could deny the request for the vacation I was planning, I didn't want to settle for "normal" anymore. It was time for a change.
I decided to take control and build a career doing more of what I enjoy.
So in 2016, while working full time as a public health nutrition educator, I:
- Got certified and started working as a personal trainer
- Launched a medical writing business focused on health literacy and education (Wilson Medical Writing)
Over time, I noticed “health” and “healthier” are buzzwords. Ask yourself, “What is health?”
Most of us come up with something less than useful- “I’m supposed to work out, eat fruits and veggies, and be healthy,” “My doctor said I need to lose 10 pounds,” or, "Health is when your body looks and works good."
What does that mean? Who cares? Does it fit in your busy day, and is it as good as a pint of your favorite ice cream?
You don’t connect hundreds of daily decisions to the number on your scale. You actually don’t even care about that number.
“Health” is too abstract and distant to motivate most people. Rest in peace to all the New Years’ Resolutions- those diets and gym memberships gone, but not forgotten...
What does successful health look like?
- You feel great- energetic, confident, and inspired.
- You do important things that you love and/or get you paid- productivity & enjoyment.
- You feel sexy (or at least comfortable with your body).
- You’re rarely sick.
- You don’t spend tons of money on healthcare and medication.
Health is enjoying what you love in life and work!
You just need to know the next step to get there, and it needs to be simple.
As a freelancer, I know the motivations and challenges of our industry- especially the questions of whether full-time freelancing and small business ownership are realistic, sustainable, and everything we want it to be. I hear things like:
"Work-life balance? lol what’s that?"
"I’ve put on 10 pounds since I started working from home."
"Freelancing is cool, but sometimes it's lonely."
"It’s hard to make time for myself working so hard for clients and taking care of kids."
Worst of all, people aren’t enjoying the reasons they started their businesses.
As a nutrition educator and personal trainer, I know how to teach the small, actionable steps to lasting change and results.
As a worksite wellness consultant, I know how health impacts the productivity of businesses. The CDC (2015) reports:
- Productivity losses linked to missing work cost
employers $1,685 per employee each year.
- Full-time workers who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health problems miss about 450 million more days of work each year than healthy workers. The result is an estimated cost of more than $153 billion in lost productivity each year.
- A 1% reduction in excess weight and high blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels has been shown to save $83 to $103 annually in medical costs per person. (CDC Workplace Health Promotion)
These costs are a health tax for freelancers and small businesses. Imagine paying cash for lost productivity, less enjoyment, and worse health outcomes!
The best companies use wellness programs to protect their people, resources, and bottom lines. Freelancing has its benefits, but a worksite wellness coordinator hasn’t been one of them. Until now...