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“When you take the foot off the gas in that way, I don't mean ghosting your business, but taking the pressure off the business, and just staying consistent and more steadfast, then the business becomes more sustainable.” - Alison McLean
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Welcome to Imperfection in Progress, a podcast for ambitious women who are people-pleasers, perfectionists, or procrastinators. Want to feel less stress and more joy in your life? Then this is for you. I’m your host Dawn Calvinisti.
On today’s episode I’m joined by Alison McLean.
For the last couple of decades Alison has helped hundreds of students overcome injury, pain and achieve their health goals. She had a successful and profitable physical therapy and wellness clinic while leading classes, workshops and yoga trainings.
Then Alison was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome a genetic mutation that puts her at high risk for several different types of cancer. Only a couple months later following her first cancer screen she was diagnosed with rectal cancer.
This caused her to reevaluate not only the sustainability of her own business, but the whole wellness industry.
She now has a passion to help other Wellness Entrepreneurs grow their businesses sustainably, with profit, while still caring for their own health and enjoying life in the process.
I love all the ways Alison shares on growing your business while growing your own belief in yourself. She is a wealth of information on personal development when building your own business.
I know you’re going to enjoy what Alison has to say. Here’s our conversation.
I want to welcome Alison to the podcast. I am really excited about where this conversation is going to go today, but I'd love to hear a little bit more about who you are and your journey.
Oh, sure. Well, I started off as a wellness entrepreneur myself, a physical therapist, yoga teacher, massage therapist, coach, healer, combination of all the above. And I had a brick and mortar clinic, which I loved and was profitable. And then I started getting requests for business coaching and I added that facet in. And now that's primarily what I do. I help the wellness entrepreneur grow a profitable business while having the time to embody their own wellness practices.
I think this is so important. In this podcast we specifically talk about the three Ps, which is people pleasing, perfectionism and procrastination. And coming from a background of entrepreneurial work myself, I definitely find when I'm coaching that the part of ourselves that we leave behind when we're trying to grow businesses often then comes and bites us later when we realize. Man, I didn't realize I had to actually take care of myself during the journey. So tell us a little bit about what you see. What are the things that come across where people are coming to you for this help and, they're not doing the things maybe that would make them more successful, not realizing that it has to do with them.
Yeah, a hundred percent. Most commonly, to bring it down to a nutshell, it's finding the focus, clarity, and trust within themselves. And when they're really lacking that, the tendency is to overcompensate with overworking.
I work with two facets of the entrepreneur. Those are, that are just starting out, and then also those that have a team and they're making multiple six figures or more, but both of them, the common root is always having a clear focused plan where you know what you know you're going to prioritize for that quarter or that year. And the belief behind that, that you know you can achieve it even if you fail you're not gonna take it personally and mean something that's, something is wrong with you as a business owner or a CEO and at the same time know knowing as you work towards this goal, whatever it is, or goals that there doesn't have to be an urgency. So often what I find with people that are, or overworking or hustling, there's some type of, almost a franticness in trying to achieve the goals sooner rather than later.
And some of it comes from trying to outrace lack of belief in themselves, or some of it is because maybe their numbers don't match up. Maybe they really need to have, maybe it's a logistical thing, like they, they do need more clients or they need more savings or their finances aren't as organized as it could be. I find that to be more rare though. Most of the time the urgency is coming from the mind, not necessarily like logistical numbers.
When you learn how to, the entrepreneur learns how, myself included, because I went through this myself. When you learn how to slow down and realize okay, I can expand my timeline. Yeah, I can put a deadline for when I want to achieve this goal, but if I expand the timeline, just take a bit of pressure off the timeline and just stay focused on the goal. Continue to take steps down the path and notice what comes up strategically, what do I need to clean up in my business? Or from the mindset component what emotions like fear or doubt might be holding me back?
Then you realize, oh, okay, if I solve this problem, if I achieve this goal, I'm just gonna set a, set another goal, or there'll be another issue to take care of. When you realize that that is the evolution of the entrepreneur. Like just continuously growing, continuously setting new goals and streamlining the business.
So you're always taking care of issues and then moving forward you realize oh, there is no urgency. And when you take the foot off the gas in that way, I don't mean ghosting your business, but taking the pressure off the business and just staying consistent and more steadfast. Then the business becomes more sustainable.
And then if you bring it down to the day to day, those days when you want to finish your business at 4:00 PM for example, to go spend the evening with your children or your family, or you want to hit, hit up that favorite yoga class, it becomes a, a clear yes to do that because you're like, oh, there's tomorrow.
I get to work on my business tomorrow and the day after that, and so forth. So then that's how you actually achieve your goals and keep going instead of getting a goal and then crashing and stopping everything, or even crashing before you hit the goal, which, and a lot of the times it doesn't come down to the skill, the practitioner's skills, right. It just comes down to the overworking and the hustle.
Yeah, I love this. I can definitely relate to this as a recovering perfectionist and in, clients that I've seen where perfectionism kicks in and it's that, like all or nothing mindset, get it all done as fast as possible, right?
If there's a little extra room in the day, I fill it as well because I can never get enough done to feel like I've achieved what I'm trying to achieve. And having that time to relax isn't even in the equation because that seems. Then I'm not doing enough. It really my back off.
So I love that you're talking about, taking the foot off the gas as far as, not moving at that kind of a pace because it's still gonna be there tomorrow. It's still gonna be there. I love that. Do you find that as you're working with people that the expectations that they put on themselves are not realistic as far as consistency? Because that is so important when you're growing a business.
Yeah, or it's the underestimate of either time, effort, or finances that are involved. Maybe, for example, if we can bring it down to a practical example, they want to promote a workshop or release an on-demand program. Versus one-to-one, for example, they might underestimate the amount of marketing that's required or the amount of time that they need to invest in learning marketing skills to either fill the workshop or fill in on-demand program.
So when they're not hitting their goal, meaning that they've done a few posts or maybe sent a couple emails or word of mouth, told a few people, but haven't generated the interest that they desire yet. Instead, they might micro quit or give up. And that creates the lack of consistency as you suggested.
But in reality, it's not because people don't want their program or their workshop, it's just because they don't know about it. They just, not enough eyes have gotten onto the registration page, for example. Or maybe there needs to be micro refinements to the copy on the registration page. Simple things like that. But that's not typically looked at though. Usually someone just is like, ah, it's not good enough. No one wants my program, no one's want, wants my workshop, and then they move on to the next thing. But if they're to the true work is to just stay with it and problem solve through it.
And by doing that, not only will they get the people that they want in their workshop or close to that number, but then they'll create more trust within themselves. Like, oh, I can put something out into the world and I can make it a reality. I can actually get people in it and make it work. And that becomes a process that you can repeat over and over and over again in your business.
It's interesting to hear how we can then lose trust in ourselves when we just give up on something because we think it's not working. When the reality is if we stuck it through and maybe made those micro changes worked with a mentor or coach or somebody who can also give us some eyes and feedback. Not only are we gonna improve our business, but we're gonna improve our ability to believe in ourselves and our abilities within our business. So that's so interesting that's all connected.
Yeah, you're right. I just wrote a post on this, like how in our business there's an element, no matter the pronoun that we identify ourselves with, but within our business entity, there's the aspects of femininity and masculinity. And really there's no perfect ratio of each, and some will be stronger or more prominent at certain times depending on what you're doing. But there's elements of both. And what you just touched upon how. There, there are the structures and the strategies that are needed, which you can for sure get from a coach, and that'll help your process go, your growth go faster.
And then there's also the elements of mindset and the feelings and the trust within yourself. Trust your own intuition. That's the feminine components. Again, a coach can help provide that awareness to you that you might not see in the moment. Like I, I've been told so many times by my own coaches, oh, is that thought really true , and I'm like, have to take a step back let's look at it like, how could it not be true? How could it be true? And just work through it .
And often I think when we're looking at our own anything like it could be our business, could be a relationship, could be anything. We just have those blind spots. It's not the same as being able to work with someone.
Yep. Yep. That's why my husband, when I first started my business six years ago, I hired a coach within my first six months of owning a business. And he, I told him, what did it entail, then this or that? And then I went into a mastermind and I told him what that entailed. And he was like, he was all, he was very supportive, but at that point he got a little skeptical and he was like, when does all this coaching stuff end? Like, when do you learn what you need to learn? I was like, what? No. Never ends.
That's right. That's right. And so many of us are perpetual students, perpetual learners. Yes. We like learning about life, we like learning about ourselves and we might like learning about business growth or specific areas. But I think that's the thing. And we've heard it, it's an old quote, but if you are not growing, you die.
And I think, when we really aren't checking in with ourselves there is that aspect of stagnation where we aren't developing anything new. There's nothing green and lively happening in our lives, and we need that. We need that to flourish.
Yeah. I find that to be a hundred percent true. Like when I'm transforming, and it doesn't have to be like a micro or macro, like huge life altering transformation. It can be, but often for me it happens in small dosages. I'm able to bring that into my copy, into my marketing materials, and it brings so much power and people can see, see the change in myself and in my own growth. And ultimately, that's what they want too, right? If something isn't working in their life, maybe their business is consuming their life, for example, then they're gonna want the change of trying to find a little bit more control over their schedule, for example.
So I have a question for you that I always ask our guests, because we talk about being either a people pleaser or a perfectionist or a procrastinator, or maybe two or three of them. Where do you relate to the most?
Typically the people pleasing. I'm a fawner I guess if you want to get into the nervous system type work.
So tell us where do you see that or where have you worked through that in your life?
In terms of business, consultations, it was learning how to, people used to tell me, oh, I don't have time for this, or I don't have the finances for this, or let me check my bank account. All, all the kinds of things. Let me talk to my husband and I still get those types of responses. Now, the difference is that I get them less because I'm more confident with my marketing to start with.
But in the past I used to fawn because I used to be like, oh, okay, sure, sure, sure. I jump in the pool with them completely, but then as I learned, I'm like, wait a minute. Like you signed up for the call. Who signs up for a call and doesn't like have some idea of where their finances are or their schedule? We don't typically sign up for things unless we're planning ahead and that's a valid thing. Oh yeah, I signed up for this call, but I really wanted to start to work with you in one month and da, I just, I'm planning ahead. Okay, that's valid. But we don't necessarily, just like on a whim, sign up for something and then realize, oh, this isn't gonna work at all. I have a form and everything. So they have to like really think it through before even scheduling the call. So there is some thought behind that.
So it was learning how to just pause and feel like my nervous system heightened a little bit, feel discomfort, and be like, Approach it from a place of curiosity, not from a place of trying to manipulate someone or force someone to say yes, if they're not appropriate, it's not appropriate, or they don't want to work with me.
But it's getting curious, like, okay, you invested time to fill out the form. You invested time to actually get on the call. So really what is the angle that you want? Learn and helping them recognize like where they might be making a decision from, like whether it is for themselves from fear or some kind of other nervous system response and hashing that out just so they can clearly see that they do have a choice to either work through the discomfort to take the leap of faith and work through that discomfort with me to get to the angle of wherever they want to go or decide, yeah, you know what, this isn't a good fit for me right now, but I'll take this insight and this awareness. And, and a lot of those people usually stay in touch with me and I'm always surprised I get referrals from them and all kinds of things, and part of my work, I love to show up and help people no matter the way, but that was a big area of where I was really people pleasing, is just jumping. My coach says it that, jumping into the pool with them and just believing that superficial, not, they're not consciously giving me a superficial response, but the words that come out of their mouth just right off the top of their head.
I love that you're sharing this because for all of our friends who are listening who relate to being a people pleaser, there is that, that compassion for other people, that empathy, that wanting to relate. And I think the fact that you said to be able to sit in the discomfort and, and be there, that's a huge part for people who are people pleasers, especially developing a business, is to be able to sit in some discomfort and know, like I can just watch, I can observe, I can be curious, like you said. Those are really good examples of where it might show up as a business person who is also dealing with people pleasing.
Yeah. And then you learned that in your business and you can apply it to your life. If someone asks you to do something and you realize you don't have the time for it that week, you can take the step back and you can feel the discomfort of maybe saying no or giving them another option, and it's not, to bring in the other p, it's not always perfect, right? At first. Sometimes we overshoot or we undershoot, and it takes refinement to get, like it's a skill. I think it's a skill just like anything else to get to where it, it still might not feel exactly comfortable, but you're getting more of the results that you desire, the outcomes that you want in your life. Then, you know, oh, I'm growing now cuz things are changing.
If you ever wanted to grow maybe more quickly, being an entrepreneur certainly brings that out, don't you think?
Yes, a hundred percent.
I know we were just talking a little bit about what you have going on and I know one of the things is that you have the Get Client's Blueprint, and I'd love if you could tell us a little bit about.
Yeah, sure. It's the alchemy of mindset. So some of this very work right here with business strategy. So if you're looking to get your first few clients, maybe make your first 1K. It's a five day free training. You get it on demand, so meaning you sign up for it and then you're dripped. Each day you get an email with a video and there's a pdf and it'll give you a process to get those very first few clients with some awareness of what's going on in your mind or your nervous system that might be serving you and you wanna keep that right or thoughts or beliefs or some things that maybe aren't, and learning how to swap them.
That's awesome. I'm gonna put the link to that in our show notes along with all the contact info for Alison. And I'd love to know what's the best place for listeners to connect with you.
Yeah, the website is the Home to All , so you can go to igniteurwellness.com. The, the yours with a ur, so it's Ignite ur wellness dot com.
Perfect. And again, I'll put those links in the show notes for everybody. Thank you so much for being on Imperfection in Progress, Alison. I so appreciate all of your wisdom that you've shared with us today.
Thanks for listening to today's show. If you found value in what you heard, please share it with a friend and rate and review us on whatever platform you listen on. It really helps get us out to other women who could benefit from listening.
Check out our show notes for details from the show and to connect with me or our guests. Want to continue the conversation? My website is www.pursueprogress.com or DM me @pursueprogresswithdawn on Instagram.
Until next week, pursue progress no matter how imperfectly.
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CONNECT WITH ALISON:
Freebie: Get Clients Blueprint
Link to Freebie: https://igniteurwellness.com/get-health-coaching-clients/
Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business. Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years. As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life. She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.
You'll feel relief as you realize what things you can do less of and what area you should focus on right now.