Seeing other people’s success can sometimes feel intimidating. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reach it. In the second episode of the Real Journey Series, Kendra Perry brings another of her guests, who is now far away from where she was a year ago. Bethany O’Toole, a Gut Health Coach, shares her growth in business, getting 18 clients in just a year! She talks about the ups and downs of her journey, how the HCA helped her, and how she overcomes some of the biggest hurdles her way. Going to coaching mode, Kendra then talks to Bethany about the money mindset. They dive deep into dealing with the imposter syndrome, having the confidence to charge your worth, and sorting through disorganization. Join this conversation and gain insights on how to navigate business-building for more growth and success!
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Money Mindset, Disorganization, And 18 Clients In One Year With Bethany O’Toole – Real Journey Series
This is our second episode in the Real Journey Series. This is where I talk with past clients who haven’t worked with me for a little bit over a year or even multiple years to check in with them and get that raw, real honest perspective of what it looks like to build a business. Last time, we spoke to Angela Brown. She has had some big success. We discussed how she had hit $250,000 in her business in less than 3 years, which is wild. I wanted to shift a little bit this time and speak with Bethany again. She was on the show before. I wanted to chat with her about her journey because she is a little bit earlier on. When we talk about Angela and making $250,000 in a year, it can feel crazy. It can feel like, “That is so far away from where I am.”
If that is you, you will relate to Bethany a little bit more because she is a little bit earlier on in her business. She is not yet making $10,000 a month in her business and that is okay. You will enjoy this conversation because we talk about what that journey has looked like. It is not all unicorns and rainbows. There have been a lot of ups and downs. She described it as a rollercoaster but in the end, it has been more than worth it. She has changed so many lives through her coaching program.
We are going to dive into Bethany’s journey and in the second half of the episode, we are going to go into some coaching. I’m going to coach Bethany on some money mindset issues she is having with raising the price of her coaching program. We are going to talk a little bit about productivity and organization. I know you are going to love this episode with Bethany. I’m going to stop blabbering. Let’s jump into it.
Bethany, welcome back to the show.
Thank you for having me back.
Before we dive into it, will you quickly tell the audience what you do as a health coach to give us some context?
I’m a gut health coach. My niche statement is I help women heal gut issues with IBS so they can live a life free of bloating pain. I run stool analysis and a twelve-week program. It has been great so far.
Remind me when you first joined Health Coach Accelerator. When was that?
Maybe remind the audience because we interviewed you in 2022 but where exactly were you in your business? Were you starting? Did you have anything in place?
I finished one of my qualifications and was starting from scratch with nothing from the beginning.
Where you are now and where you were then? Do you feel like you have come a long way?
Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for how much work I have put in and how far I have come and it can be with running a business. There is still Imposter syndrome and things like that but compared to where I was back then, I didn’t have a clue. I came out of the qualification and I was like, “Now what? Where do I go? What do I do?” That is where HCA came in and changed my life.
What would you say the HCA helped you the most with? What were the main pieces that helped you get set up?
It was like building my business in one hit, starting the social media and email campaigning. I’m brand new to all of that. I had no idea how to build my program because I only had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do. It has been step-by-step handholding, which is what I needed to make it work. It has worked. There is still massive room for growth and improvement but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Compared to people whom I have seen who have qualified and haven’t done something like HCA, I’m way further ahead.
You came out of the program and left in 2022, which seems crazy because I’m like, “Weren’t you just in the program?”
It is gone in a flash.
How have things been going since leaving the program?
It is good but from a professional perspective, I have found it challenging mentally because there is such a lot to do. I know you often say to your audience how the first two years are mainly about marketing and growing your role. A small percentage of what you do is coaching. I don’t think I was emotionally prepared for that at the beginning. I love coaching, working and helping people but marketing isn’t something that I was like too impressed with.
It has been challenging. It has been up and down. I’m pleased with what I have managed to achieve. I have had some amazing results with clients. I’m changing people’s lives already, which always feels good. That is why you go into this job. It has been a rollercoaster, as it is when you start any business but a rollercoaster that I am enjoying the ride.
I’m curious because a lot of coaches feel this way about marketing. You are like, “What do I have to market.” Have you been able to cultivate any good mindsets around that? Have you found a way to enjoy the marketing side of your business?
I started paying someone to help me with social media. At the beginning of the HCA, when you talk about outsourcing the things you don’t enjoy and you don’t feel you’re good at, do it off the bat and you have to spend money to make money. That is one of the hurdles I have to get over. £150 to £200 a month, how am I going to make sure I’m bringing that back? Is it worth it? I started spending money to make money.
I started outsourcing it. I still write the content but she does all of the things that require organization, scheduling and graphics. She has been a lifesaver for me because I was getting overwhelmed with that side of the business. She is going to start helping me with growing my email lists because that organically is growing but it needs to be focused on.
With Instagram, it is a love-hate thing. I’m like, “Bossing it, loving it in my flow. Creative juices. I’m on my stories. I’m sharing parts of my life. I’m interacting with people and it is great,” and then it is like, “No more. I have had enough for a little bit.” You got to be consistent with it. That is where I fall because I’m quite a scatterbrain. Consistency is always something that I have to work hard on. I have a coach and a psychotherapist who is going to start helping me with goal-setting and holding myself accountable because that is what I need.
It is so important that you outsource. I know there is so much resistance around it because you are like, “I have to make this money every month.” In terms of what you were doing before, isn’t it so much better not to have to create Canva graphics and schedule everything out?
It was driving me up the wall. I was finding myself getting overwhelmed and stressed by it. Even though initially I was like, “It is so much money,” now I’m like, “Take my money.”
What has been the biggest mindset hurdle that you have probably had to overcome?
I’m still trying to overcome it. It is the money block. It is not a tangible product. I still have my business run with my husband but what I was doing before was a health shop. I’m selling tangible products to people. I can sell that very easily. When you are not selling something that is what people can touch and feel, they are investing in you at the end of the day. For me, the Imposter syndrome was huge. “Am I good enough to be charging this amount?” I know that I still need to charge more and this is something that I wanted to discuss with you later in the call about my money block. That is still the biggest one. It is money blocks with Imposter syndrome.
You are not alone. Even at higher levels, we all struggle a little bit with money and what to charge because you hit the nail on the head there. It is intangible. It is not like you are buying a banana. When there is a banana, you have a good idea it is going to be a little different. Sometimes it will be a little bit more expensive and cheaper but you have a general range in your head as to what that banana is. You don’t typically get overly shocked at the price of a banana.
People know what to expect if you are selling a banana. You don’t know what to expect when you are selling a twelve-week program. It is having the confidence to sell myself more and go over that next hurdle with money.
I’m curious about your program. What does that look like? What is your frequency of clients? How many clients are you working with?
It is a twelve-week program. I accept people anytime. They are not all scheduled to start at the same point. It is not a group program. It is still one-to-one. Since I finished HCA, I have had eighteen clients. It has been good. Organically, they keep appearing. When somebody finishes their twelve-week program, I seem to get discovery calls booked in that week.
It is bizarre. The universe is hearing me like, “I can take some more people on now.” I have had eighteen clients and it has been a bit of a whirlwind and learning on my feet. I have learned so much by doing it and diving straight in. That was one of the most important things. It is not fussy footing around the idea. Once I had done HCA, it was like, “No, I‘m going straight in. I’m going to go for it, get clients and see what happens.”
What do you think surprised you the most about the business-building journey since HCA?
It is the level of self-belief that you have to find within yourself. That is going to do for you and the level of organization it takes. I am a scatterbrain. That bit has been challenging. I was surprised at how much I needed to dig deep to make sure I was following some schedule because I didn’t at the beginning. It is Thursday and I have not done an Instagram post. I got clients this day.
It was all over the chart and diary. That wasn’t working for me. I was surprised by how quickly I felt overwhelmed by that. For me, the biggest shock was digging deep and making sure I’m sticking to some schedule even though I’m self-employed and the whole point is freedom and doing what I want when I want. I don’t think my type of personality can do that. I need to have some schedule.
It is all about figuring out what works for you. Some people will rebel against the schedule but other people like yourself need it.
I thought I was a rebel and going to rebel against the schedule but it didn’t at all. I was like, “My rebellious streak has gone.”
Do you plan your week in advance? What does that look like for you?
Part of the coaching I’m having is to make sure that I am doing that. On Monday mornings, I go to an exercise class and in the afternoon, I leave that form. I’m making social content, social planning, email planning and admin. On Tuesday morning, I go for a PT session but I leave Tuesday afternoons. I’m open to having clients. On Wednesday, the same PT clients. On Thursday, clients. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I don’t work in this business. I work in my other business or rest.
I’m trying to schedule things where I can but I’m not boundaries with my time in the evenings. That is where I need to get better. Clients contact me via WhatsApp. That is part of the twelve-year program. They have my support. It could be 10:00 PM and someone’s messaging me questions like, “Does apple cider vinegar taste of anything when you put it in water?”
You are like, “Maybe you should taste it.”
Try it and leave me alone.
You need to create some more boundaries. Would you say that it has been worth it?
Yes, in every way. There are days when I go, “What have I been doing?” It is when I’m feeling overwhelmed. That is replaced with, “I love my job,” especially when I’m getting clients. Telling me how much I have changed their lives makes everything worthwhile. I had one lady who had many years of chronic IBS to the point where she didn’t even leave the house anymore. By the end of the twelve-week program, she was back to normal. She joined the gym. She was elated. She couldn’t believe the difference. To see that and hear that is worth everything.
Can you see where this is going to go in the future? Do you believe you can build this to look like whatever you want to build?
Yes, I have loads of ideas. I’m good with ideas. I will sell myself there but putting them into practice can sometimes be a challenge. I got loads of plans for what I want to do. Ideally, I want it to be a group program because that offers me a little bit more structure. I know what times I’m doing my Zoom calls. It is more structured than how it is at the moment. I’m in talks to bring out my supplement line. I got plans.
I want to dive into the coaching part of this call. When we chatted on Instagram, it was like, “I need to raise my prices.” Money is a big block. You mention this money mindset. Where do you feel like you are challenged with the most there? Where do you need support?
Part of it comes from me and where my audience is at the moment. Getting a lot of people through my shop. It is a local area. They are still local area people. In this town, they have money blocks as a town. Running my business here, they have money blocks. There is a certain amount of money and they were like, “No.” No matter how much I sold it to them and told them that it could transform their life, they were like, “I’m not paying that amount of money.” I know my audience needs to grow further from where I am a whole other market.
I don’t know why I get so scared when I want to hop over that £1,000 mark because I have paid coaches and HCA. I have worked with a functional health practitioner myself and paid about £2,500. I know there are people out there that will pay for it. It comes from self-belief like, “Is what I am doing worth that amount of money to them?”
You are charging £1,000 for your program. It is probably like $1,500 US-ish.
The cost of the tax in that is about $50. It is not enough.
Do you have any strategy for increasing your prices or have you been charging that since the beginning, since you got out of your beta?
I have been eking it up ever slightly each time and that has offered me a little bit of a comfort blanket. I have been like, “We will go to the next stage.” The next stage is crossing that because I’m saying £995 at the moment. I need to go over that £1,000 in a big way. There is something about that that feels scary because it is new.
What does it look like in your program? How many sessions are they getting once they come into your program?
They get six sessions with me on Zoom. They are getting a lot for their money. One is going through their results in depth. They understand them and come up with like a bespoke supplement protocol. The next five weeks would be education pillars and support. We talk about food, stress and all the lifestyle factors. It is bespoke to them.
How often do you get pricing objections on sales calls because you close at a high percentage?
I closed high until I crossed over into this bracket and it has been less. I have had a much smaller opposing rate. I don’t know why. I think it is because of the people in the local area. I need to seriously open my reach. That is what I feel.
If you raise your prices, your conversion will go down slightly. It depends on your marketing. How much do you pay because you run like a GI map?
That costs £322 to be exact.
Have you ever dove into your beliefs around money? What were you taught about money growing up?
I don’t have money blocks in my personal life. I got a company self-belief thing because it doesn’t come from money thing. A part of it is I’m not going to lose my house if I don’t earn enough in one month. I got another business that earns us money and keeps us going. Maybe there is a little part of me that sometimes is like, “Oh well.” That sounds dismissive and horrible but I’m like, “I won’t lose my house.” I come up with excuses sometimes for myself to keep myself safe. I got a block around money. It is a self-belief thing like, “Am I worthy?”
Like the logistical pricing perspective, I’m like, “Yes, you are way undercharging.” I would love to see you take home £1,500 per client.
That is the aim. I have spoken to a local lady doing similar things but with hormones, we connected because we are like, “We do the same thing.” She gets about £1,600 to £1,800 per client. She was like, “You need to go to TikTok. That is where I get all my clients from.” I’m trying to venture into TikTok as well. It is another thing.
You can repurpose a lot of your content, which is great. I understand. When I started, I raised my prices very slowly and incrementally but with every new client I got, I would raise my price because that meant I had more experience, which made me more valuable. What about raising your price by £100 for the next client?
I would do that for the next client.
Sometimes it is that incremental confidence. Sometimes I’m like, “I don’t know if people are going to pay this,” and then I do it and someone buys it. You are like, “People will pay for this.”
I know I need to do it. That is my next step. It has been a conversation thrown around this house many times.
How much would you say, on average, do you bring home in a month, revenue with clients, a commission from supplements or anything like that?
It is hard to say per month because, in one month, I had six clients signing. My first client came on board when I left HCA. With affiliate-like payments, I reckon I probably brought home about £17,000 to £18,000. I have made a lot of supplements.
You can increase your revenue quickly by raising your prices. Know that your conversion might go down slightly but you were converting at over 90% at one point. That is insane for a sales call conversion. The industry standard is about 30%. HCA students usually convert at maybe the 50% range. You are way over that. I find it interesting when you said, “Every time a client is finishing, all of a sudden, I get this discovery calls.”
It is like the universe has led me that way. I’m like, “Welcome.” Something is working because it is happening organically. I know there needs to be more of a push.
What would you like to make every month? What is your goal income?
I find that hard question. What would I need to live off versus what I want?
What do you want? What would you say, “I made this much money this month and that feels good and I’m happy with that?”
I like to make at least £2,500 to £3,000 a month, at least.
That is probably above $5,000 a month. How many clients can you take on each month?
This is part of the thing that I have been considering and trying to work out. I can happily and easily have six clients running concurrently. I could go further if I wanted to but I get out. I know that I need to tweak the way I make my offering. I’m not talking quite so much as I do off the calls, which would make it easier. I could concurrently run 6 to 8 clients without a sweat.
It sounds like you can probably take on 2 to 3 clients a month. If we do the math with that, I’m going to make it easy. You take on three clients a month if you want to make £3,000. It seems like you could triple that because you are already charging £1,000 per client but not all of that is taken home. You want to be charging at least £1,500 to be able to hit that. It would be quite easy for you to make £10,000 with your current program with your pricing but it sounds like with your methodology, you are delivering a lot of the education in session.
I want the whole focus of next month for me to record it properly. In HCA, you told us to do that but I was like, “That is a big task.”
Think of how much time you have spent teaching over and over again.
The top of the list at the minute is the sessions because I could earn more money and spend less time on a call.
You may only need a 30-minute coaching call or 40 minutes. The other thing to consider, Bethany, is you don’t need to do video modules. You could do audio recordings, which makes it a whole lot easier. It doesn’t need to be this big fancy elaborate thing.
I’m better at talking than typing and writing. That works.
Think about the possibility of that because if you ever decide to go to the group coaching route, you have your curriculum. You build a different container around it.
That is the goal.
I would love to see you raise your prices by even £1,000 for the next client. Start to raise it by £100 with every client or 2 clients, whatever you feel comfortable with. I would love to see you at that £2,000 mark because I love to see you taking home £1,500 of profit. If you are taking 3 clients a month for £1,500, it is £4,500. That is $6,500. That is almost six figures for the year. We are talking in multiple currencies here but that is a good amount of coin for only working with a few clients a month.
That is where I need to know that I need to do this. It has been a block. I work with the seasons. I know this sounds a bit woo but in winter, I’m always like, “It is time for reflection.” I go within. My motivation is quite low through winter. I have to dig deep. I’m like, “Yes, I’m ready to blossom now.” I’m going to go for it.
The solstice is coming. That time change is coming like spring. The birds are going to be out. I’m like, “Let me know when you do it and how it feels because I’m curious.” Sometimes we fear something so much but when we do it, we are like, “That wasn’t a big deal.” Pricing is tricky for everyone. I stress about my pricing too. I’m undercharging for HCA. I know I could charge more. I deal with money blocks too. Every time I increase my prices, I’m like, “Is anyone going to pay?” People do. I’m like, “Okay, it is fine.”
It needs to be done. Dig deep and do it.
As you charge higher, your quality of clients tends to increase. You get this person who is less maintenance and more motivated. Hopefully, the person won’t text you at 10:00 AM asking you how apple cider vinegar tastes in water.
I have been quite lucky with my clients. There is only a couple that has been a challenge because they have not done a single thing. They requested what to do and they haven’t got the results. There have only been a few. I have been blessed.
Is there anything else you have questions about or would like my help with?
What is the one organizational tool that you recommend for business?
I’m a big fan of planning my week out in advance. I sit down on a Thursday, look at my next week and time block out my calendar. I don’t always follow that schedule. I sometimes move things around but I know what I’m working on when I sit down, which is important. The other thing that I like about organizational is Asana. It is similar to Trello. There is Monday and Notion.
There is a whole bunch of these different boards but I’m someone who likes to look at like little blocks on a screen. I like to be able to move those blocks around. I like to build boards in Asana and checklists within that. That helps me stay organized because I like to be able to look at it. Not everyone’s brain works like that.
I’m a list kind of girl. I keep having my list on my phone. I’m like, “No, it is so distracting.” I realized I could not work if the phone was in the room. The phone has to go. My list being on my phone is no good. I need something else.
Asana has a desktop app, which is nice. You don’t have to have the app on your phone if you don’t want to. You can build lists within it. If you have a team member who does your social media, they can have a project within there. You can collaborate on the board so you can see what is going on with social media at all points, which is nice.
I’m like you. I’m very scatterbrained. I’m all over the place. Despite my best efforts, I’m usually always a little bit disorganized. Sometimes it is not something like I have things in place that help me. My calendar is my best thing. Everything is on my calendar. I plan everything in advance. This will be helpful if you onboard any new team members. Make sure you are upfront with the fact that you are scatterbrained and you will need someone who picks up the slack.
I was like that with the social mediator. I said, “You need to put pressure on me. If you need the content by the date, tell me. I will probably give you that content the day before because I’m not going to do it in advance.” I work best under pressure.
Having someone who needs something from you, like hiring someone, forces you to be accountable.
It is worth your money. I need someone to say, “This date now. Come on.”
This was some advice I gave to another HCA student because she was like, “I’m struggling to get things done. I put things off. I clean up my kids’ room, who doesn’t even live in the house anymore. I’m doing these crazy things.” I was like, “It will be worth your money to hire someone to schedule your social media content because they are going to be waiting for you and you can’t leave them hanging.”
That has helped me flow a lot. It has been consistently posting when people have been commenting, “Your social media looks good.” People message me asking who does it because it is so good. It is working. That has helped me a lot. I need someone to ask to kick me in all other areas.
A little bit more expensive but can still be relatively cheap is having a virtual assistant. When you have someone who works for you, it forces you to be more organized. They can also help you organize. This is a good investment because there is something called an online business manager. I have someone who works for me every week in my business. They manage all the people and projects. They are my organization. I don’t have to think about that. It is something that you can offload.
You don’t necessarily need to have one, especially when you have a smaller business. What you can do is hire. A lot of them will do a VIP day or a short project where they will come into your business. They will organize everything, set up all the systems, train you on it and leave you with it. It can be relatively inexpensive. It can be something that is under $1,000. That is great because when you bring new people into your business, you are not the one who has to set up the organizational structure and systems that are already in place.
That was difficult at the beginning to get used to all the tech. You practice better and run funnels and all of that malarkey. It is helpful to have somebody who will zoom out a little bit too. Sometimes we can lose our heads in what we have to do. Someone could come and look and be like, “We could simplify this in five minutes.” You feel overwhelmed, don’t you sometimes with all the tasks?
I can’t be the one who does any organizational stuff in my business because my brain doesn’t work like other people. People are like, “What is this?” I overthink it. I’m having someone come in and structure it. I originally brought in my online business for a one-off project to create a whole system for our launches. I was like, “Do you want to stick around? This is great. I need you.”
I wanted to let everyone know that it is a good thing to do early on in your business, even if you are not ready to have someone on full-time or even part-time, someone that you have to pay all the time. There are lots of them out there. Some of them do specialize in health and wellness to come in and organize things for you. If you are like Bethany and me, our brains are all over the place. Even with our best efforts, we will probably never organize anything that well.
I give you something tactile, like drawing a map or cook. That is quite organized. It is not there. My brain is wide up wrong.
I’m wondering if you can leave the audience with one piece of advice for building their business because all of our readers are new. They are dealing with the rollercoaster that you explained. What is your one piece of motivation, inspiration or advice that you could give to them?
They are going to think that you have hired me but I would say do HCA. I genuinely wouldn’t have gotten to where I am. Even though there is plenty of room for me to grow and improve, I would not get my business off the ground if it wasn’t for that. It was because it was structured and step-by-step. It was handholding, taking my business from nothing to a fully functioning business earning me money.
People who are training to be health coaches, naturopaths and nutritionists come out of these colleges with zero business advice. You are left to your devices. It was like, “What am I supposed to do?” That is how I felt. I was like, “Now what?” It was this step-by-step guide. It is something I still revisit. I still log on and look at things like social media strategy. I go back and read that. I’m going to be going back on there to look at how to record my content properly. There is so much in there that will make your business work. Do it.
That is the best answer that I could hope for.
Do it and throw yourself into it. If it is what you want to do, you will make it work. The first step is the hardest. I crapped myself when I did my first. When I put my first post out there and said, “It is going live,” I crap my pants. Now, it is normal and great.
I’m so proud of you. I’m excited for you to keep me posted on what next is to come. I can’t wait to hear you tell me, “I sold my program for £1,100.” I’m looking forward to that Instagram message. Thank you so much, Bethany. I appreciate your time. It is always great to connect with you and hang out with you. If people want to connect with you online, how can they find you?
They can get me an Instagram @BethanyOTooleHealth. The same on TikTok but there is probably nothing there yet. Give me time. It would be nice to hear from anyone if you got any questions. Give them my way. I’m more than happy to answer any questions about HCA from a student perspective as well.
Thank you so much. I appreciate that.
Thank you so much for having me and coaching. I appreciate it. I will hopefully have that message over to you very soon.
Thank you so much, Bethany. Thank you, everyone, for reading. I will see you in the next episode, same time, same place where I help you become wealthy AF.
- Angela Brown – Past Episode
- Bethany O’Toole
- Health Coach Accelerator
- @BethanyOTooleHealth – Instagram
- TikTok – @BethanyOTooleHealth
About Bethany O’Toole
Bethany O’Toole is a Gut Health Coach and former HCA student who helps women heal their gut issues and IBS so they can live a life free of bloating, pain and embarrassment.