I have been putting off this entry for as long as humanly possible. If I could hold my breath for the duration, I probably would. My "what-will-people-think-of-me??" anxieties are through the roof, but I know that in order to move forward, I need to crawl out of this mud. I took a nervous breakdown last spring, and after several months of soul searching and unexpected opportunities, I feel SO excited for my future. I chose to write this as a blog post instead of a live video, because I am being proactive in choosing my words wisely. But, that means it's going to be lengthy... Bear with me, because I have a special announcement to share at the end.
I want to start off by saying that I still very much endorse Beachbody. I think their workout subscription service - Beachbody On Demand - is absolutely brilliant and I use it every day. I technically am still a coach, as I still have a discount on products should I ever need one. I have changed my life with their home workouts, and I have also met some loving, wonderful humans because of it. But, in the past year, I've been at a crossroads with whether or not to call myself an active "Beachbody Coach."
When I first enrolled back in 2014, my goals were pretty simple: I wanted to help people become as happy as I was using the tools that I used. I didn't really care about the paycheck; my goal was to actually just make my phone bill every month. It took me awhile to see any money at all, but I was happy. What started as a simple passion project soon escalated into a business that I was hustling hard... but the work wasn't what I thought it would be.
I'm going to be very transparent about the best ways to earn a FT-replacing-salary as a Beachbody coach, and any coach who is reading this will agree with what I will say. The best ways to earn an income are
1-Selling "Challenge Packs" (a workout + Shakeology bundle)
2- Residual income from team cycle bonuses.
The average person needs me to explain this, so I will.
1- Selling "Challenge Packs" (A workout + Shakeology bundle).
You earn a small commission on every single thing that you sell, but if a customer loves Shakeology and decides to stay on it, you can earn residual income from their monthly order of it. So selling a "challenge pack" gives the client the best upfront deal - a $70+ workout program and a $120 superfood shake is offered at a fraction of the cost; usually $140 total. Plus, if you sell enough Challenge Packs, you'll get what's called Success Club which can lead to bigger prizes (credit towards a trip is the best one). So, everybody wins.
2- Residual income / team cycle bonuses.
Most companies will set up some sort of incentive program, or there are ways to be promoted over time. Beachbody is the same way. Anyone who signs on as a new coach is given an upline sponsor who serves as their mentor. Eventually, the goal is for the new coach to be a mentor themselves, which then causes them to uplevel or go up in "rank." The more people you lead, the better your compensation - or "team cycle bonus." I could really take the time to break this down and explain it, but I'd rather not dwell on it.
Let me be clear about something, though. Many people will jump to the conclusion that this payout is a pyramid scheme. It's not. Pyramid schemes require you to have inventory on hand, and your sponsored team members are your only source of commission. (This is a great site that explains pyramid schemes)
Let me be clear about another thing - you CAN be successful with this business model. I personally know a handful of women who make 6 figures as Beachbody coaches. But here's another truth: they HUSTLE. They know the ebbs and flows, and they work with it.
So, why didn't you just hustle harder, Davina?
For one thing, I always felt kind of insincere when I required my clients to use Shakeology; turning people away if they couldn't or wouldn't. This is not to say that I think the formula isn't valuable. Shakeology is great tasting and full of so many beneficial ingredients for your body; I personally was drinking it to replace multivitamins. It's a great tool to use on your weight loss journey... but it's not a tool that I personally used when I was 205 lbs.
I didn't start drinking it until I became a coach, after I was comfortably maintaining my goal weight. I haven't been drinking it consistently for a few months, but I haven't gained any weight and I do still enjoy it when I have it. What really awakened me, though, was taking a nutrition course and realizing just how different every single human being is. Different bodies require different means of fuel. I was offering the same types of clean eating / Shakeology challenges to every person who trusted me and it just wasn't working anymore. I felt like an idiot when someone would say, "I have ____ allergy, what do you recommend?" and I had deer-in-headlights paralysis. I knew that I needed to dive deeper into the science of food to effectively help people. So, I am. I'm still working on my Precision Nutrition certification to help me strengthen my knowledge to better serve independent clients.
Now.. let's talk about the team aspect.
I absolutely, 100% love and believe in everyone who had faith in me as a leader. I actually still have coaches in my downline and I am so proud of them. Part of me was staying in the game just for them. I still feel horrible about not being more reliable for them sometimes.. but, again, I have to do what feels right to me.
I upleveled to the Emerald rank fairly quickly. (Mentoring 2 coaches) It took me about a year to get to the next celebrated level, Diamond. (Mentoring 12 coaches, I believe? I honestly forget...) From there, I lost sight of myself.
Although the company urges you to invest in personal development (reading books on self-improvement, for the most part), I found that my character flaws were getting worse. And, I extend huge apologies to anyone who felt any sort of negative energy from the following habits.
I was comparing myself to every single person on my team.
("If so&so hits their rank before you, then you suck, Davina.")
I was getting defensive about my work and assuming that everyone was copying what I was doing.
I was getting impatient.
I was stressed at the end of every month if I didn't hit my sales numbers.
I was giving in to gossiping and petty drama.
I wasn't who I know I am, nor who I know I can be.
And I was expecting people to follow my lead?!?
About a year ago, after attending a seminar, I realized I had totally lost sight of why I wanted to be a coach in the first place. I didn't get into coaching to be a 345th Star Diamond. I wanted to help people live their happiest, healthiest lives.
So, I set a gigantic goal - to help 50 people with their health goals in the next year. I helped about 10 before I realized that this was still a selfish goal. I can lead 50 horses to the water, but they'll all stare back at me like I'm insane unless they're inspired to drink. If I want to help others, I need to be even more specific about who needs me the most and how I can serve them. If I want to really make an impact, I need to stop chasing incentives.
I enrolled in a program called the Wellpreneur Business Academy to teach me about the online space, and that opened my eyes to life outside of multi level marketing. The coaching business that I knew was comfortable, but I wasn't growing effectively and I wasn't being my best self. WBA taught me that there are PLENTY of ways to earn a living as an online health coach... you just need to know your market and offer what they need. Although I've been in a professional standstill as a health coach recently, I'm blessed to have access to WBA's information at any time so I can "retake" the course as needed. It's also incredibly insightful in teaching business concepts like email marketing, copywriting, and content creation.
[[ If you'd like to learn more about WBA, please contact me. I'll be happy to share my experience with you. ]]
Even though I am not hosting monthly groups, I do not look at myself as a failure for this experience. This was a path that awakened my passion and greatest joy: helping others to believe in their potential and to love themselves fully. MLMs are not for everyone and that is okay. I have respect and love for the company. I have respect and love for any Beachbody Coach who is hustling for the right reason: to change lives. That being said, at this time I have decided to operate as a Beachbody "affiliate." While I'm creating my own courses and finding my own way, I'm more than happy to recommend any single Beachbody program or supplement under the sun. Beachbody On Demand is an amazing tool for at-home workouts that I still use daily! I will gladly hold you accountable to your goals, and if you're interested in coaching, I'll pass you along to a mentor you deserve.
So... what's next?
Well, as far as health coaching goes, I am going to continue on a much smaller scale. I do intend on completing my nutrition certification. I hope to take one-on-one clients under my wing, and potentially offer a course on reversing emotional eating and self-sabotage. I am also SO excited to be teaching PiYo classes in NYC now. I feel like what I'm lacking from online coaching is that one-on-one, in-person connection that I feel with new people who I meet in class. I therefore am looking forward to hopefully teaching CIZE and kickboxing in the city as well.
But also: I have a new dream.
Remember that nervous breakdown I told you about? Soon after, I had one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
I am 1000% open-minded and practice coexistence, so I don't expect you to understand if your views are radically different from mine. That being said, as crazy as it sounds, God revealed Himself to me when I needed it. I very quickly scheduled an intuitive call with a medium to clarify that I wasn't fabricating this experience. The medium revealed some amazing insights to that moment and my path in general. She also said something I hadn't considered:
I see you in front of people. I see you speaking to them.
Now, I had envisioned that "one day" I would speak at a seminar or two. Sharing my story has always been my greatest strength as a health coach. But, I assumed I would have to be wildly successful in order to do so. Who was I to just get up and talk to people, right?
Well. Scrolling through my trusty social media, I saw an advertisement that made me want to spit out my coffee.
Grant Baldwin, a successful youth speaker, was offering a course on how to book speaking gigs.
I watched his free webinar, and I learned that my story could serve others even if my name isn't prominent. I could speak to high school and college level girls about how healthy habits are not punishment, but rather a self-esteem remedy.
I kept weighing the pros and cons of whether or not I should make the investment of this course. I was making SO many business investments and not seeing returns.
Yet... I couldn't stop thinking about enrolling.
If you can't stop thinking about it, that must be your heart screaming, right?
And then, my vision kept expanding....
What if every freelance project I've been doing doesn't have to be separate anymore?
What if I could combine my voiceover and health coaching endeavors... into a YouTube channel and podcast?
**This announcement is most definitely for public accountability. I am still getting settled in my new apartment, and I hope to begin my new projects by the second week of September. Ya'll are my witnesses!!**
Identity Crisis Ended... for now.
I want to help people transform their lives, but I realized that I need to think bigger.
And, given my previous frustrations, I have to carve my own path.
My competition is my mirror.
My CEO is God.
If I'm living authentically in my purpose and it's serving others well, the income I deserve will come.
Maybe I'll have to start over.
Maybe I'll have to prove myself....
but Oprah had to prove herself too, right?
Everything happens for a reason.
Every choice and every experience point us to clarity of what we do or do not want.
What I can say is that I am a health coach and am looking forward to my new adventures in speaking to young women who need my message the most.
Professionally, I know my weaknesses, and I am doing my best to strengthen those muscles. But, most importantly: I trust that I have a good heart, and I trust that my life experience is my most valuable credential.
I cannot wait to step into my purpose.
I feel closer than I ever have before.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be." - Jane Austen.