Being Brave Enough to Scale with Wholistic Health Coach Jenn Malacha
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Kyle Gray: (00:37)
Hello, and welcome to the Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray, and today on the show we have the Jenn Malacha from Wholistic Health Boss. Jenn is an expert at putting together systems that are automated and allow you to scale your business. We’re going to hear from Jenn about her health journey and a lot of her journey from going from a health coach to a health boss, being in charge of our own business, and coaching many other health and wellness entrepreneurs and coaches on how to grow their businesses.
Kyle Gray: (01:11)
If you’re not necessarily a health and wellness entrepreneur, there’s still plenty of useful information. Everything in this episode can apply to any coaching business or any high-end service where technical expertise is critical to it. There’s lots of helpful information. Everything from differentiating yourself in your market, what kind of systems you need to set up to create real freedom, and how to create amazing products that both generate a lot of value and abundance for you, yourself, and excellent results for your customers.
Kyle Gray: (01:48)
Without any further ado, let’s hand it over to Jenn. Welcome to the Story Engine podcast. It’s inspiring to have you here today, and I’d like to introduce you in the way I always present my guests by hearing a story from you. Would you tell me about a time in your life that’s defined who you are and how you’re showing up and making an impact in the world today?
Jenn Malacha: (02:13)
I would love to share my story about that because it changed the course of my career, and it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why I’m sitting here talking with you today. I was diagnosed with skin cancer at age 26, with melanoma, and it came as quite a shock to me at that time because I was a personal trainer, and I had gone to school and studied fitness, nutrition, and health. And I was “the healthiest person” that I knew. So for me to get this kind of like, what I perceived at the time as like a terminal illness type of diagnosis potentially, it made no sense to me. It was overwhelming. It was mind-boggling, and it left me feeling confused. This huge motivator led me to dive into my health to understand what was going on in my body.
Jenn Malacha: (03:23)
And honestly leading up to that diagnosis, I hadn’t been feeling like myself. Even though I was “healthy” again, I had been experiencing chronic fatigue, which I didn’t know what to label it at the time for quite some time. I had been suffering from seasonal allergies that were increasingly getting worse, and they would give me ear infections that would knock me out for days or even weeks at a time. And I was actually on multiple levels just suffering in a lot of ways health-wise. I had been sacrificing my health in pursuit of my career and ignoring a lot of the signs that my body was giving me.
Jenn Malacha: (04:05)
And so when I got this skin cancer diagnosis, it was like the light bulb just went on. Something needed to change, and I needed to explore this more. And I dove into kind of the functional medicine side of what we talk about in terms of health. And I discovered functional diagnostic nutrition, which is a certification program that I’ve gone through to learn about functional lab testing and how the body works from a practical standpoint.
Jenn Malacha: (04:31)
And that opened up my eyes to what health is and what it means to me. That then not only changed my life to the point where I’m sitting here with you over ten years later, skin cancer-free, and healthier than I’ve ever been in my entire life, but also changed the trajectory of my career. It got me into being a health coach as a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner, which then evolved into even mentoring other functional diagnostic nutrition practitioners in the world of business and marketing. I would never have imagined myself doing any of these things if you would have asked me any of these questions when I graduated from college back in 2005.
Kyle Gray: (05:15)
That is amazing, and just to your domain name right now is a Wholistic Health Boss, right? And so in that story, we got a lot of the wholistic health there. And I want to congratulate you on recovering from cancer and that whole journey because it is truly an incredible one. I think you’ve learned a lot of essential things that you now apply and kind of the Boss part of the domain, which I want to hear a little bit more. Because you’ve also set things up where you’re training other health coaches, and you’re helping them set up systems in a way that they don’t have to trade their health for their careers.
Kyle Gray: (06:05)
And I was looking at, I think, a landing page for one of your programs and you have a fascinating little bit of copy that I don’t see often. It was like, “Hey, I usually talk about whatever, 60 days of vacation a year, this many trips and my business has been growing out a certain percentage.” What I loved about it was that you showed us an incredible opportunity, but it was a system that I could relate to, and it felt like, “Oh yeah, I can see myself.” It’s not some explosive growth. It’s a reliable, consistent system that you can bank on every day. Tell me a little bit about the Boss section.
Jenn Malacha: (07:01)
Yeah. Well, it’s so great that you ask about that. I came up with that name back in 2016 or 2015, I think. And I remember running my name Wholistic Health Boss by my husband, and he was like, “That’s awful.” And I was like, “I like it.”
Jenn Malacha: (07:25)
And the Boss part originated from my health coaching business. Because what I discovered through my story was reclaiming my power and being the boss of my health. I will often tell clients, and part of what I believe in is that, don’t settle for anything less than you deserve when it comes to your health.
Jenn Malacha: (07:52)
And the Wholistic part, it’s about empowering the whole body naturally and being the boss of your health, being your advocate, standing up and speaking for yourself. My doctor was telling me that I looked perfect on paper, and they were ignoring my symptoms or what was going on with me. Because from the outside, I appeared to be this healthy person in all of my typical blood markers and blood pressure and heart rate, and all that kind of stuff looked look normal. And so I had to take back control, take the reins and be the boss, and say, ” I’m going to stand up for myself.”
Jenn Malacha: (08:32)
At that time, I chose that name; this whole idea of mentoring others on this side of business and marketing wasn’t even a blip on my radar yet. And so when that started to come about for me, I had this challenge of, should I create another brand name for this side of my business where I do business and marketing mentoring for these practitioners? And I was like, “No, I shouldn’t,” because it speaks to both audiences. Because these people are working it, and they are wholistic health practitioners that are trying to be their boss.
Jenn Malacha: (09:13)
And one of the things that I help them with is I see so many people that are struggling to get their business going because they don’t know how to be a boss. They also get into a place, like a lot of them have gone through this same training in functional diagnostic nutrition or some other health coaching or they’re health practitioners in some way, and part of the reason that inspired them to go through training was to fix their health. And then I see them coming out of that training, their health is improved, but then their health starts to go downhill again because they’re not being their own boss in their business, right?
Jenn Malacha: (09:56)
Some of the systems and programs that I offer, like you mentioned, is how do you run a multiple six-figure business while still having freedom? Because that was a massive piece of what changed for me was, as I said earlier, I was sacrificing my health in pursuit of my career. I was working 12-hour days and burning the candle at both ends. When I got into being an entrepreneur, I was like, “I don’t want to work for the man anymore. I want to work for myself. I want to set my hours. I want to be able to travel 90+ days out of the year and be able to run my business no matter where I am.”
Jenn Malacha: (10:31)
So I’ve helped to create systems and programs that allow people to do that as well. Because what is the point in running a business and making great money if all you’re doing is working and you don’t get to enjoy life? This concept is about being the boss in your business, but also being the boss of your life. Identifying your desires and dreams, and how do we set you up for that? Because at the end of the day, this is the only life we get, so make the most of it.
Kyle Gray: (11:12)
Absolutely. I love your approach and how you are combining systems to scale up your business in a way that allows that freedom, and I think you paint a realistic and achievable picture of freedom. You mentioned you work with health coaches with a specific certification, but a lot of this problem and a lot of these things extend to lots of different people.
Kyle Gray: (12:00)
I think I hear all that all the time; I wish marketing didn’t exist so that I could help people. And so, this can apply to a broad spectrum of people even though we’ll keep this conversation around health coaches. What are some of the things that, what are some of the most significant win systems that you could, you work with, or you suggest or made an impact on your own business that really started to create this freedom and create the flexibility and get you out of the kind of the one on one time for money model?
Jenn Malacha: (12:36)
Well, I think the first thing is going back and touching on what you just said and that the conversation that we have today applies to anybody in almost any type of business. And I felt like I was struggling until I honed in on what made me unique in my services and my offerings. And there are so many people out there, so many entrepreneurs, whether they’re health coaches or life coaches or other types of businesses where I think we question our ability to create a successful business because we’re like, well there’s already somebody else out there doing it. The reality is that there’s something unique about me versus somebody else that’s been through the same training as me. There’s a reason that a client would pick me over somebody else or pick somebody else over me, even though we’ve had the same training.
Jenn Malacha: (13:28)
I think for me, it all starts; the starting point is this concept of story that I know you talk about so much is because you have to know your account and what makes you unique. That’s the foundation for everything else. If the people that I mentor, I touch on that story aspect, and I know you’re going to be doing some work with our people to help them expand it. Because that’s how you build rapport and trust with your clients. It’s what attracts them to you and the first place. And also, once you understand what makes you unique as a practitioner or in the services that you’re providing, then I think the next step is formalizing, well what are your service offerings based upon that? Based on your unique approach, what you bring to the table.
Jenn Malacha: (14:16)
That’s like the next step that I will walk people through is now we know what makes you unique. How do we create service package offerings that sprinkle in your sparkle, necessarily in there? And that helps to set the tone for then creating workflow automation. In the health coaching world, if we have set health coaching packages that we offer, I have three set packages that I offer, which helps me to duplicate the process every single time, which creates that workflow. Now I can start to build and put systems in place.
Kyle Gray: (14:53)
It’s hard to do. Especially with health, I’m running a high-end agency right now, and there are a million different ways. Me and my team, we all have different talents that we can approach, and so we all want to contribute things. Combining your value into a simple package is something that I’ve desired. And I believe we’re getting closer to achieving that by putting these systems together. But it’s a super challenging thing even if you’re experienced.
Jenn Malacha: (15:32)
Right. And I think as Seth Godin and some of the big marketing people out there, they say you want to focus on the 4% right? Your ideal client is 4% of the market, not 100% of the market. And I was recently in training where they use Dave Asprey and Bulletproof as an example where Bulletproof and Dave Asprey are becoming a global enterprise. You’re starting to see their products in Target or Walmart or other places. But that’s not where he began. He began in that 4% niche of the super biohackers in a specific space. And then once you get your legs on the ground and you build your business, you expand out more globally or wide. It’s that scarcity mindset that can sometimes keep us from understanding that I think.
Kyle Gray: (16:21)
There’s another Seth Godin quote that just really impacted me earlier this week that I feel applies to this situation well too. It’s only a two-line blog post, but he’s really into making those kinds of things where it says, “Maybe it’s not, or maybe you don’t need to hone your craft more or improve your skills. Your craft is just fine. Maybe you need to be braver.” And that struck me in a lot. I’m at a bit of a crossroads that I will probably introduce in a podcast at some point. But it impacted me profoundly and made me feel I needed to play bigger. It’s not, and I think a lot of people in health coaching or again in any service business, a lot of people are always trying to improve their skills and things were really it’s I think being braver in some cases is sharing who you are and being really unique and showing up as your true self.
Kyle Gray: (17:28)
And one cool thing about being unique that I’d like to tack onto what you were saying is, is often with your story it’s not about your skill set, it’s not about how robust your protocol is or how many supplements you are cramming into it. Maybe you are just really like tacos, and you’re the taco health coach or something like that. It’s these weird kinds of personality things like you have a whole lifetime of experience, and you can bring that to your business and your brand through your story. And that’s what will create a human connection and get people working with you.
Jenn Malacha: (18:08)
100% and I always give the example of every decision that we make is an emotional decision. Especially when we’re spending money. Somebody’s going to invest, my coaching programs are up to $6,000, and so if somebody’s going to make a significant investment with me, it’s going to be an emotional decision, and 100% of it’s in related to health. It’s always emotional. And so I give this example of, think about if you’re going to buy a new car and you’re married, and you’ve got four kids. You go to the car dealership, and you’re working with a salesman who has no kids. He’s just showing you the technology, the necessary logistics of how the car works. He’s not creating a vision for you. Versus if you were working with a car salesman that also has kids and he’s like, “Oh yeah, it’s great. It’s so spacious. Susie sits back here with all her soccer gear; the dog’s over there. Bobby’s upfront with his PlayStation, whatever. There’s also noise-canceling equipment which helps my wife, and I feel like nothing’ is happening in the backseat.”
Jenn Malacha: (19:13)
Like when somebody can create a vision for you because they can relate to you, that’s buying power, or selling power also. And this is one of the things that I talk about is getting to understanding that your ideal client is a reflection of you. My clients are also career-driven people that have sacrificed their health in pursuit of their careers. They love to travel the world. And something that I probably don’t speak enough about, talk about being braver is that I’m an adult child of an alcoholic. Come to find out 95% of my clients have also dealt with addiction in their family in some way.
Jenn Malacha: (20:01)
Those experiences in our life have molded us, molded our characteristics, and the behaviors that have then possibly led us down a similar path when it comes to our health. And so it is that person to person interaction. And I love that Seth Godin quote that you just mentioned because I see so many people out there trying to make it and when they’re not making it, the question, well do I need more training in this? Do I need to hone my skills more? And it’s not that you need to keep taking courses to keep learning more. It’s that you need to be braver. Tell your story and say, “This is who I am, and this is what I have to offer.” And be freaking proud about that because there’s somebody out there that needs your experience to help them get to where you are too.
Kyle Gray: (20:51)
That’s so brilliantly, brilliantly stated. One question I have for you and more on your business journey, but I always find that it reveals interesting things on speaking of being brave, can you tell me about an investment that you’ve made in yourself and your business that may be felt really kind of scary, kind of hit you in the stomach at the time of making it, but turned out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made?
Jenn Malacha: (21:20)
Oh yeah, 100%. And this, there’s been a lot of them and but I remember being at a seminar, I flew all the way out to New York to participate in this weekend seminar and I had taken some of this organization’s entry-level training and the workshop was definitely centered around at the end they were making us an offer. The community and practice had already been so powerful to me that when they made that offer, I was in debt. My credit, my business credit card was maxed out. I had just started my coaching business. At the end of the month, I was breaking even. I wasn’t necessarily making money, and I was just like if I don’t do this, where is this going to leave me, though? Am I willing to invest in myself to get to the next level?
Jenn Malacha: (22:09)
And one of the aspects of my healing journey is owning myself worth. For all of us, that’s a challenge that we have to work through. And so I remember stepping outside of the seminar at break time and calling my bank and asking for an extension on my credit limit to be able to invest in this next-level program with crazy fear that they were going to reject me instantly. And luckily, I was instantly approved on the spot. These skills are something that I still use in my coaching practice. I now use them in my business mentoring practice. They have changed my life personally. It’s probably the scariest, most questionable investment that I made. Because I didn’t know that that was all going to happen. I just had to believe and trust, but also the best investment decision I probably ever made too at the same time.
Kyle Gray: (23:11)
Powerful. And yeah, a good story. And I think we all have these kinds of leaps of faith and sometimes they show up as a coaching program or mastermind and sometimes it shows up as hiring somebody. But yeah, I think the road to a successful brand or business includes stories like that.
Jenn Malacha: (23:35)
Kyle Gray: (23:36)
We’ve covered a lot of about the differentiation and variety of our story elements, but I’d love to speak to a little bit more about systems and what kind of methods you love to create and what it looks like to build scale in your business.
Jenn Malacha: (23:57)
Sure. I talked a little bit about workflow automation.
Jenn Malacha: (24:00)
In any career, being able to put processes in place is basically what workflow automation is in some cases. It’s funny; I’m a process nerd almost. I just got our team earlier this year on to Asana, and I like everything’s in Asana now. Asana is one of my favorite tools that are out there, just talking about tools in terms of project management and keeping your team or yourself organized, all the minute details of what needs to happen.
Jenn Malacha: (24:37)
I work with FDM Consulting for their marketing and PR side of their business, and we’re about to host a 300 person conference that you’re going to be speaking in San Diego. There are a million details, let me tell you, about running a conference, and if it weren’t for Asana and having a process in place, we would not be able to pull it off successfully. What I have in the niche into and custom created is a client management system. Part of my story, it’s funny how everything all comes together too. Before getting into health coaching, I was working in corporate wellness in a startup company, and I found Infusionsoft. I’m sure many of your listeners probably have heard of Infusionsoft if they’re in the business and marketing world.
Jenn Malacha: (25:28)
Most people know Infusionsoft as just a sales and marketing tool that it sends out my marketing emails, and it’s like ClickFunnels or ActiveCampaign. You can set up email automation, and you can manage your sales through it. But what most people don’t know is that it can be a client management system.
Jenn Malacha: (25:48)
What I have done is create a custom workflow in Infusionsoft that automates the point of sale. From when a client enrolls with me, all the way through everything that needs to happen in their program. It tracks every single item of their coaching program for them.
Jenn Malacha: (26:09)
I love Infusionsoft because it’s a one-stop-shop. I see a lot of people out there that they’re working in multiple different systems. They have Mailchimp, or you know then ActiveCampaign, Then they have QuickBooks or something else that’s doing their invoicing, and none of the pieces are connected. So when you’re working with clients, you have to look in different systems to collect information about them. Did they open the email? Let me look over here. Did they pay the invoice? Let me log into that system.
Jenn Malacha: (26:36)
Infusionsoft brings it all together as one. I would say that the trick to Infusionsoft is having an open mind about it and also making sure that you’re working with an Infusionsoft expert. Usually, the best ones are the ones that operate independently from Infusionsoft, and they’re certified Infusionsoft partners, which is who I work with, who knows the system well. I came to her and said, “This is taking me way too much time. There’s too much administrative work. I cannot scale my business without automating it.” I had just written out all the steps of what I go through in working with a client, and she helped me turn it into a system.
Jenn Malacha: (27:18)
That’s what we have packaged up for health coaches, or even chiropractors, natural paths, definitely our functional diagnostic nutrition practitioners, we now can provide them that same system that I’ve created. It’s 80% done for them, and we have to go in and customize it.
Kyle Gray: (27:36)
But it’s so, so powerful. I mean, maybe I’m a marketer and a salesman first. For a long time in my life, I would be like, okay, we can get the sale. I wouldn’t pay that much attention to fulfillment. Then with a couple of coaching and service clients, juggling those things on my own, disasters were abundant at times and in specific areas.
Kyle Gray: (28:07)
Just recently, over this last half-year, I’ve been working with a project manager and working on these internal systems to make it a much better experience for both coaching and service clients run through the business. I must say it’s just a night and day difference. It does create the freedom which we openly discuss in this episode, and back to the Seth Godin bravery quote where I’ll spare you the details, but because I wasn’t sure I could have the capacity to really create the revenues that I really wanted to just on my own and with my limited organizational skills, but for the first time now having a team in place, some really great writers, designers, and project managers, so that as the workflow comes in, it’s not just me, but it allows me to be in my zone of genius, creating and connecting and moving the brand forward.
Kyle Gray: (29:11)
For the first time, I feel I have that freedom to go, and I’m going to do this. I’m 100% committing to my own business and my work for the first time. And it’s compelling because of these systems that you’re talking about right now.
Jenn Malacha: (29:29)
Yeah, it’s a fantastic feeling. I would say that I’m in that same place in my business, is that when I set up Infusionsoft initially, it was there to have so that I had checks and balances, so that I wouldn’t forget to send an email to a client, or I wouldn’t forget to do a specific task that I needed to do in regards to them. Because as I teach the people that I work with, exceptional customer service sells itself.
Jenn Malacha: (29:56)
At the end of the day, if you can, at a minimum, provide exceptional customer service, you’re going to get referrals, you’re going to get more clients. But if you’re disorganized and you can’t give that, then you’re cutting yourself off at the knees.
Jenn Malacha: (30:14)
That’s one of the big reasons why I initially implemented the system and then secondly was also to free up my time because of, like I mentioned, the administrative work of me having to send out emails to clients manually, remind them, do follow up, and keep track of tasks, I couldn’t be in my zone of genius.
Jenn Malacha: (30:35)
It was in order to be able to work on copy for my website, or creating images, or webinars and talks that were going to get me new leads and potential new clients, I needed to free up my time and to work in my business on that admin stuff was never going to allow me to do that.
Jenn Malacha: (30:55)
Now I’ve scaled it so much where I have two assistants that in Infusionsoft there are specific tasks related to my clients that now get delegated out to my assistants, and they’re running part of my business for me, which again frees up my time to pursue passion projects and do other things.
Jenn Malacha: (31:14)
I currently right now have 22 or 23 active health coaching clients. I have 70 plus enthusiastic mentees that I mentor in business and marketing. I run group programs. I consult for another company. I’m running a 300 person conference and doing all of these other things, and the only reason that I’m able to do that without working 24 hours a day is because I have a system in place that allows me to easily delegate, keep organized, and deliver that exceptional customer service at the same time, which just keeps the business rolling in.
Kyle Gray: (31:53)
I love it. Jen, we’ve covered so many precious materials from understanding yourself and your audience, to create systems and scalable business. Are there any closing thoughts that you would like to leave us with, and where can we go to find you and learn more about you?
Jenn Malacha: (32:14)
Yeah, I would say that sometimes you have to step outside of resolves. Going back to that bravery point of when if you’re struggling to get to the next level, what it is, whether it’s in your health as we’ve talked about today, or in your business, and I appreciate you asking about what was the scariest investment that I made in myself, is that sometimes we have to step out of ourselves, I think, and just believe that there is a possibility.
Jenn Malacha: (32:43)
I like to say that I’m in the business of making the impossible possible. I think that that pertains to the health coaching side of what I do and the business mentoring because we are our limiting factors. When we step outside of ourselves and connect in with what our vision is, what we want for our health, and what we want for our business, it opens up possibility.
Jenn Malacha: (33:06)
Sometimes we have to take risks, and we have to be brave. But when you do that, and you have a belief that it’s going to work out than it typically does. Just like I just knew that I had to have that training, that it was going to change my life, and I couldn’t even begin to imagine the greatness of the impact that it would have, but I just knew that it was going to do something for me and allowed me to step up in the world and be brave at that moment. I would encourage your listeners to think about that.
Jenn Malacha: (33:39)
People can find me @WholisticHealthBoss. I’m super active on Instagram. That’s probably my favorite social media platform. Wholistic is spelled with a W, so it’s W-H-O-L-E, just like whole foods. Wholistic Health Boss. I’m also on Facebook as Wholistic Health Boss, or you can visit my site, WholisticHealthBoss.com.
Kyle Gray: (34:01)
Amazing. Jenn, thank you so much for joining us on the Story Engine Podcast.
Jenn Malacha: (34:05)
Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co.
Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.