Fitness Professional Online Show : 024 – Lori Kennedy
Announcer: Welcome to the Fitness Professional Online Radio Show where you get access to fitness industry news, tips and insights from professionals around the world. Visit us at FitnessProfessionalOnline.com and now, your host, Doug Holt.
Doug Holt: Hello everyone and welcome to Episode 24 of Fitness Professional Online Radio Show. I am your host Doug Holt. This is the last week of November. I can’t believe it’s already here. Hopefully by now you’ve already started planning a lot of your holiday specials and hopefully you’ve started planning most of your first quarter for 2015.
My friend Todd Durkin introduced me to something called the “90-Day Wonder”. The 90-Day Wonder is a process where you actually get a calendar and you list out the next 90 days of what you’ll be doing about your business, personal life, growth, and what’s called “yellow mellow times” your relaxation time. You can find those instructions for free actually online and I believe it’s called “No Brown Days” or you can just Google the 90-Day Wonder and it pops-up right there.
I do that with my wife as well as with my staff. It’s a great way to kind of get a glimpse of what’s going on in your life both personally and professionally and to schedule that in. In fact, we have Lori Kennedy that’s going to be on the show today and she gives me a hard time about not scheduling something and I told her I would do and rightfully so.
So if you haven’t started planning for 2015, as soon as you get down with the show, it is time. Go ahead and listen to some of the past episodes to see how Fitness Professionals like your have gotten toward success and how they’ve gotten where they are. Begin with that end in mind and start mapping backwards.
90-day plans are really good because they’re very actionable. We also want to have those other goals 2 to 5 years out of where you want to go. You have to have a compelling vision that’s going to lead you into the future. Otherwise, you’re just going to be pushed around by your problems.
So I’m super excited about this interview today with Lori Kennedy. Really like what Lori is doing online. Her social media presence has really jumped out of me as somebody that runs a social media company. So I was really impressed of what Lori did. I wanted to have her on the show. This is our second interview with her. What a dynamic woman.
Lori has over 13 years of experience in the fitness nutrition world. She’s the founder and CEO of WOW Nutrition Systems and The Wellness Business Academy which we’ll talk a little bit about in the show. Since founding the WOW Nutrition System way back in 2007, Lori and her WOW practitioners have helped thousands of clients achieve their nutritional and weight loss goals globally.
Lori is on a mission to improve the lives both physically and emotionally for one million people by 2022. Talk about a big goal to go for. Lori transitioned out of brick and mortar business and took her entire company online in 2012. Since then she’s run many successful online launches netting multiple 6-figures.
She produces an annual 2 day live event called “The Wellness Business Summit” and coaches and mentors thousands of alternative wellness practitioners to take their businesses online so they can create a business around their ideal lifestyle using direct marketing systems and an affiliate sales model.
Lori’s biggest accomplishment is working alongside her husband to grow their business. She goes by the motto, #MyLifeMyTerms, don’t we all want to do that? So without further adieu let’s jump into the call with Lori.
Lori thanks for being with us today. I really appreciate you taking the time.
Lori Kennedy: Thank you so much for having me.
Doug Holt: Let’s jump right into it. There is so much we can talk about obviously and we talked about fair already but we had you on for Episode 13 which was great and for those of you that haven’t had the chance to get that episode, you can go to Fitness Professional Online and download that now. But during that time my mastermind groups took off and so do my online marketing business. So I put the show on-hold, we’re back, and I know a lot happened with you as well. So give us all an update on what you’ve been up to.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. It seems like forever ago that we did that interview and I can vividly remember exactly where I was. I was sitting in an office in a gym that I was running my nutrition business out of. So I no longer have a brick and mortar business. That’s I think the first biggest thing that has changed for me.
I’ve been able to take my entire brick and mortar business model and it transformed into an online business where we are able to help thousands of people internationally with their weight loss goals, and their nutrition, and their digestion, and their health through WOW weight loss and through the WOW Nutrition System and are licensed locations in Canada.
So that I think one of the biggest things that I was able to change and I no longer have an hour each way commute which is awesome because I live in Toronto and those winters are brutal. So that’s really nice. And then the other thing I think would just be if I was being totally transparent and authentic.
My confidence level and my mindset around the fact that persistence and perseverance is everything and you can learn all the tools and all the tricks in all the systems you want and as long as you persevere and persist you’ll start to get the momentum. You’ll start to build and you’ll start to really believe that you actually can create the exact kind of life that you want for yourself.
Doug Holt: It sounds like you’re doing that. You’re living the mobile lifestyle and creating a business with less overhead. That’s something every entrepreneur wants.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah, absolutely.
Doug Holt: And if you can dream it or believe that you can do it, that’s for sure. That’s great. What’s going on now? You’ve gone from a brick and mortar business to more virtual solid business, where are we going to see in the future moving forward from you?
Lori Kennedy: More of the same, just in a larger way. So 2015, we’ll show no new created projects hopefully. I’d say that now but I do have an entrepreneurial mindset, so hold me for that. But we do have now five very solid revenue streams that we’ve run through them for the last year, so worked at the Kings, worked out the bugs and so now we’re really able to scale that.
And so my goal this year is to really focus on buying or attracting really good quality leads and just growing what we already have and not creating anything new because that’s pretty exhausting but just growing what we have so that I can get to my mission and just help more people really start to believe in the creation of their own desired outcome.
Doug Holt: Which is great and for those who don’t know your mission, I think it’s incredibly inspiring and I would say that a BHAG or a big hairy audacious goal and you definitely have. Tell us what your mission is?
Lori Kennedy: Sure. My mission is to improve the lives both physically and emotionally for 1 million people by 2022 and if you break that down it’s me directly working with 1,000 practitioners and helping those 1,000 practitioners work with 1,000 clients. And so, when I break it down that way it doesn’t seem that astronomical but also it’s very measurable because
I can go back and look at myself and then I can contact those people as we grow over years.
And look at their sales and look at the [07:22] effect. Then to see four people in a family and how do that work and you can really measure the goal. So we’re about a third of a way there which is pretty cool. We have direct sales, right? So if I look at sales from my certification and my academy, I’m probably actually more than like halfway there. But there are practitioners working with the clients and getting them to really grow their businesses. It’s my challenge and my goal.
Doug Holt: Awesome and you have a big event coming up next year in March, right?
Lori Kennedy: Yes. So we have the Wellness Business Academy. This is the 3rd year that we’re running it. So the first year it was 1 day last year and this year is going to be 3 days and it’s from March 6-8 in Toronto and it’s the only 3-day event for alternative health and wellness practitioner that is solely focused on business both online and offline.
All the other events in Canada mix in sort of fitness, nutrition, and education with business. But this event is 3-day event is solely focused around practical business building systems.
Doug Holt: Which is so critical on something that so many people miss I feel in the fitness industry and a lot of other industries or the wellness base is they forget the fact that if they don’t learn the business applications they can’t actually go help the people they started the business for in the first place and actually pursue their passion so that’s fantastic.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. Many people procrastinate on the business side because it’s not comfortable for them and it’s not something that was really ever in grain demand that they needed to become an expert in.
Doug Holt: I agree with you 100%. But what gave you the empathy to actually take that on because it is such a fear factor for so many people where they’re able to push through in an exercise regime or something else in their life. They seem to hit that wall with business in particular in marketing. What made you different?
Lori Kennedy: Well, two things. One, I really needed money.
Doug Holt: A great motivator.
Lori Kennedy: Always. Gone to the head works every time and really I got my start in a fitness club where I have sales goals. And I had a manager breathing down my neck. I was in charge of the Nutrition Department for three clubs and I wasn’t meeting my sales goals. And I had no idea other than talking about nutrition and giving away all of the good stuff that my program did so that the client didn’t feel a need to buy. I had no idea how to position myself.
And so it was through modelling how personal training was sold in large quantity packages that I was able to really wrap my brain around positioning myself as a business and letting my nutrition credentials take the backseat. And so just because it was either learn business or lose my job essentially that I started to really understand the psychology of business and started to really enjoy learning about marketing because it allowed me to really get in-depth with people that I wanted to help versus just remaining surface level with them.
And once you start to understand marketing and once you start to understand business, it’s quite enjoyable actually and if you are having entrepreneurial spirit and a little bit competitive. You want to get better off it because getting better at it means helping more people, means making more money, means living the kind of life that you want to live.
Doug Holt: And you’ve been killing it on social media and especially I would say dominating Google Plus. The question all of us have is when I think about it, is how have you figured out how to clone yourself because there’s no way one human can do all that stuff that you do without any super powers? What’s your secret?
Lori Kennedy: I have three virtual assistants. I’m not going to pretend I do it all because I certainly don’t although I will say the one thing that I will never outsource is the writing of my e-mails and my content because that has to stay uniquely me and I enjoy doing that. But the scheduling aspect of it and the consistency of it, we have a schedule. We have a master schedule. It’s on a Google Doc. Everyone can see it and we plan in advance and I didn’t do that for a long time and that gave me an anxiety attack every day because I had no idea what I was supposed to do that day.
And so we take time now and we plan out two to three months in advance the themes, the topics, the blogs, the e-mails, and the affiliate promotions we’re going to do so that everyone can see it. Everyone knows I am not the bottleneck of the company anymore because before I was the bottleneck and so that was really stressful.
But yeah, I have three virtual assistants. I have one in California and I have two in the Philippines and they’ve all been working for me for a long time and are wonderful and I could not do what I do from my B2B business and my B2C business without help. There’s no chance that I would even want to do it because that’s just crazy.
Doug Holt: It absolutely is crazy. You have a lot of irons in the fire so I also use virtual assistants and Carol and RJ are listening to this right now. Hi guys as well as several others. In fact I think I have a team of almost 12 between my businesses that work for us full-time. It’s just a great way of multiplying your efforts so you can get out there.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah and I think once you can get past the fact like “I’m still very much in control” because we have that master plan and nothing obviously goes without my say-so. But I don’t need to be the one posting on Facebook. Like, it is still my content, it’s my words, it’s my voice. I just don’t need to do that extra step and so once I was able to release that, everything started to flow more smoothly and obviously again as an entrepreneur I think I could be doing it thousand times better than I’m doing now. And it’s just step, it’s just stepping stones. It’s getting a system, running through the system, and improving the system and that’s that.
Doug Holt: It sounds that basic. I’ve been doing it for almost two decades and I’m still working on refining. It sounds like you have it down so that’s awesome.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. I don’t feel like it has it down. I’m glad it looks that way. I don’t really feel like that most of the time. There are always places that you can improve on.
Doug Holt: Absolutely. Well, you’ve been doing a fantastic job and your virtual assistants have been as well.
Lori Kennedy: Thank you.
Doug Holt: One of the secrets that we tell our clients from my digital marketing business is Google Plus and the emphasis to put on that and I see you on Google Plus all the time. There’s so much weight and then we’re seeing stuff in the analytics that Google Plus can do for a business. So kudos for you for jumping on that early before it has actually taken off.
Lori Kennedy: Thank you. It’s one of those things where you kind of got to wonder. Facebook is great and all those other places are great but they’re not doing a Google search on Facebook. They’re doing a Google search on Google. And so you want your Google Plus to really filter into that to get that organic traffic.
Doug Holt: Absolutely. This is a little bit to nerd out just a little bit. But I go to Advance SEO conferences and one of the things they talked about, the last one is that we’re seeing in a search results that Google Plus results are showing up. So because you and I are friends on Google Plus, if you’re in Santa Barbara and you are to search personal training my studio would come up first just because we’re friends and would show those social benefits as well. So you’d say “Hey! Doug loves this place.” or a coffee shop for that matter or what have you.
Lori Kennedy: That’s interesting.
Doug Holt: Yeah. And we’re seeing it happen more and more with our clients that we work with at our personal training studios because we’re able to get them in there and also get ratings through Google Plus to show up. So anyway, just on a side that you’re early adapter and I think it’s going to be one of those things that you’re not going to get away with dealing with business. You have to do it.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. You have to do it and like anything else. You always could be doing more of it better, whatever. But I think just the fact consistency is key. So if you can just be consistent whatever social media platform you choose. If it’s posting in once a week post, once a week! Like, you don’t need to be posting 18 times a day. Just be consistent.
Doug Holt: Yeah, almost definitely. We’ve had so much success which I know everybody and myself included looks up to you. But tell us about a time where you’ve hit a wall and you thought “Shoot! This is it. I’m done. I’m throwing the towel.” Every entrepreneur goes to these regularly but you found a way to push through the other side and it turned out to be a great thing for you. Can you tell us about one of those types of events?
Lori Kennedy: Sure. So last year, after the Wellness Business Summit and it was 2 days. And then I did two VIP mastermind days back-to-back. So it was a two day event which is really three days and then two VIP days so it’s 5 full days of being filled on and it happened to be right before Mother’s Day.
And so my Mother’s Day present was me going to a hotel by myself and not talking to anybody because I just needed to just recoup. And I had for those of you who know Elizabeth Gilbert is. I had my very own and “eat, pray, love” moment on the floor of the hotel by myself hysterically crying just thinking, “I cannot continue this pace. Like this is just insane. I have two small children like I’m alone on Mother’s Day because I just couldn’t bear to talk to anybody because it’s not normal. I mean this is no way to live.”
And so I went home and I sat down and I just drew out what I wanted and I wrote out what really makes me happy and the actions that I really like to do. And so from that moment of “If I have to go on like this, I don’t want to do it.” That moment was “Okay. I need to revamp my licensing. I need to add something that is one thing, one focus that I can put everything I enjoy doing into one boat. Into one basket and just feed that continuously.” And so that’s where the Wellness Business Academy came from which is a yearlong curriculum.
It’s a business school so it’s a yearlong curriculum for alternative health and fitness professionals where it’s straight up business school for our niches, both online and offline. And I was able to take my hysterical crying, sobbing on the floor moment and turn that around for myself and say “Okay, what is it that I want? If I had to do only one thing, what would it be?”
Because there was no chance I was continuing the way I was going, and so that’s that moment. And then secondary to that I think before any launch I always feel like it’s going to fail.
Doug Holt: I think we all do.
Lori Kennedy: Like I want to pull the plug and this is going to suck and no one is going to buy. That happens every time I launch. But that moment was really scary. It was honestly scary because you get to the place where you’re so tired and you’re so energy drained but the fire is still there and you just need to figure it out. You just need to figure out a way to do what you want to do without killing yourself.
And so hopefully we just launched the academy, we’re in our beta test. We have 73 students going through it now, so far so good. So hopefully that eat, pray, love moment fuels what will be the focus of my energy for the next couple of years.
Doug Holt: Wow. What a great story and for those listening, just hearing that you have to be inspired and if you’re at that point where you’ve hit a wall or you’re scared to put yourself out there which is what most people are, right? I mean most people, they build a program and they think it’s going to bum and they do pull it. But listen to Lori’s story about how she went through and go check out the Wellness Business Academy. It’s at the wellnessbusinessacademy.com. I’ll put the link on the show notes but that’s going on. Fantastic. Kudos to you.
Lori Kennedy: Thank you.
Doug Holt: Absolutely. That’s a great story. I know you’re a big reader and I know that because I’ve seen some of your posts and I think we agreed some similar things but what book would you say has made the biggest impact in your life and why? It doesn’t have to be business wise. It could be.
Lori Kennedy: There are so many. Okay, there are two. A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson that I read when I was 17.
Doug Holt: Haven’t read that one.
Lori Kennedy: Really anything by her and then I never get this right. It’s by Tony Robbins and it’s Awaken the Giant Within, something about a giant and power.
Doug Holt: Awaken the Giant Within
Lori Kennedy: Yeah, that book. And it just came like a reason [00:20:04.12]. But those two books, I read them when I was like 16-17. Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence.
Doug Holt: Great book.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. I read those. My father had all these books and so from a 16 or 17-year- old not really fitting in at school, being bullied, not really getting along with girls all that well, just a whole other story and just always having this sort of leadership entrepreneurial feeling. I didn’t know how to direct it and so I found these books when I was 16, 17 and started to read them and I started to understand the energy and being energy sensitive and intuitive and what that all meant for me and I’ve gone back to those books many times.
And to be honest, anything Oprah has ever had to say pretty much. I remember watching her up until she stopped her show. But yeah, those books. But recently this one that I actually carry around with me in my backpack and it’s all tattered now but it’s The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma and I have to say that this has been like I’m just sort of flipping through it as we are talking and it’s all underlined, different colours, pages circled, like if you need that little push, if you need to understand how to continue on when you’re not getting recognized and you’re not getting publicity and no one is asking you to be a part of their online summits and you feel like you’re never going to progress, go get this book and read it because the whole premise is like you don’t need. You have to choose yourself. You don’t need that title to be awesome in the world. It’s like a behaviour code for how to behave a leader.
So that is what I’m reading out.
Doug Holt: Yeah. That book has been on my two read list and I haven’t read it. I’ve read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari so I’ll definitely bump that up a notch and Robin Sharma’s story that he couldn’t get published and actually went out and sold his books. I think that [22:06] meets, right?
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. He’s a pretty influential guy and my best all-time favourite quote from I don’t know if it’s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari but he says it anyways: “Your schedule never lies. Show me your schedule and I’ll show you where are priorities are” and it’s the most truthful thing that anyone could say. If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not your priority. If it’s not written down, it’s not a priority. You can say whatever you want but if you don’t schedule it, it’s not going to happen.
Doug Holt: I’m putting that on my desk.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah.
Doug Holt: That’s going to be one of my quotes.
Lori Kennedy: It’s awesome.
Doug Holt: That’s so great. Shoot! Makes me think of my schedule now.
Lori Kennedy: It’s so funny because we’re all in the health and wellness industry and how many times does a client come in and say “I don’t have enough time. I don’t have time.” I started doing with this with my nutrition clients. I was like “Bring me your calendar. Bring it to me.” You actually schedule in time to go grocery shopping? Do you schedule one time to prepare it? “No.” “But you have your nail appointment on there.” Like, I could obviously go into this whole picture. You know the nail appointment gets on the schedule but the grocery shopping, the preparing, the cooking to get off diabetes meds doesn’t, so where are the priorities?
Doug Holt: That’s great. I’m sure you have that script written down. You should definitely get it out to people. A friend of mine Michelle Vaughn used to say “You need to get to put extra size in the brushing-your-teeth category not into get-your-nails done category.”
Lori Kennedy: Exactly.
Doug Holt: Here’s a question I’d love to ask and I’m dying to hear your answer. So let me set the scene. You find a time machine. You’re walking around Toronto. You find a time machine and you’re able to go back and talk to yourself during your first year of business, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Lori Kennedy: “Don’t worry. Like don’t panic, everything will be fine. You will be fine. It will all work out. You will get exactly what you want like just enjoy it.” Just enjoy it because for me, that first year was really hard. It was making money. I had a baby, we needed money and it was hustle. Like I hustle now but now I enjoy it. Before it was like scary hustle and so I just would tell myself to just really enjoy it and just have faith. Like just have full complete trust and faith that you will get to do exactly what you want to do. It just takes time and it doesn’t happen overnight so just enjoy the ride.
Doug Holt: And that’s such a great advice. I think we all need that advice from time-to-time as well.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. I should like write that on the palm of my hand. Just enjoy the night, it doesn’t happen overnight.
Doug Holt: As entrepreneurs, we often won everything yesterday. That’s kind of our mindset but that’s what makes us go sometimes too. We’re coming to the end of our time and you’ve been so gracious with your time. I know you’re super busy. What parting advice would you want to give to our listeners? They are working on their business right now, what would you say to them?
Lori Kennedy: The one thing I would say is just pick one thing. I know it’s so hard. As entrepreneurs, we want to do so many things but pick the one thing that is directly correlated or directly linked to you helping people that you can measure. So if you put in a blog post, is that helpful? And delete the noise and get rid of all of the influence that’s surrounding you that’s distracting you and just focus on the one thing that’s going to help the most amount of people and that will grow quickly and it will spread versus trying to do all of these other things that get the job half-done. So just pick one thing. It’s going to help the most amounts to people and focus on it.
Doug Holt: That’s excellent advice. Are there any tools or tricks you use for focus when you sit down and have a task at hand or anything you use?
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. Two things. One, I have what my mentor Craig Valentine refers to as his magic time. So have my magic time which is knowing the 90 minutes to 2 hours in the day that you are proficient that you can get the most amount of work done whether it’s blog post or creativity or not admin stuff but stuff that’s going to drive your business forward, the stuff that makes you money.
Know that time and fiercely protect it. So my time is between 5 and 7 am and I have two small kids and my husband notice that if the kids get up between 5 and 6:30 it’s like I’m not at home. Like I’m in the basement, I’m not helping, don’t call me, don’t ask me to help. If time is disturbed, I’m very, very angry.
And then the other thing I would say is just working time blocks. I understand getting in the flow and how that’s really important but I think if you can work in like 25 to 35-minute time block and just set the timer, I know there are apps for all that but just set a timer and just answer e-mails for 35 minutes and move one. Don’t check Facebook in that time and don’t answer the phone or text messages, just chunk your tasks and time block them so that you just get them done and you’ll feel really productive about it. So that was my advice.
Doug Holt: That’s a great advice and you’re very lucky you have a great husband, it sounds like.
Lori Kennedy: He would get yelled at otherwise.
Doug Holt: How about a very smart husband?
Lori Kennedy: Yes.
Doug Holt: I’m learning as well. I’m a little slower than he is though, but that’s different. You should check it out. I use the software called firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m not plugging them. I like what they do and you can set it for a timer and it gives you a timer countdown for 60 minutes is what I use and I focus on that one task for 60 minutes. The music stops, I get up and go do something active so I don’t get stuck in e-mail or whatever else it is.
Lori Kennedy: Yeah. I started to notice awhile ago like I would be doing something in every 35-40 minutes, “What’s going on Facebook?” and my mind could only go for 40 minutes where I could sit intensely and focus in bang out whatever I needed to bang out. If it’s early morning for me, if I didn’t have breakfast and getting the kids to school, whatever, I probably sit from 5 to 8 and get so much done but when you are wearing hats in your family you don’t have the luxury to do that. But I just find working in that way versus trying to do, “Okay, I have 3 hours and I need to get all of this stuff done.” That’s just doesn’t work for me.
Doug Holt: No, absolutely. I don’t think it can work for anybody and that sounds like you have a good mentor. Lori, again thank you so much for taking the time. If people want to learn more about you, where should they go?
Lori Kennedy: They can go to LoriKennedyRHN.com.
Doug Holt: Fantastic and I’ll put that in the show notes and everybody listening; jump on to Google Plus and start following Lori. She puts out fantastic material. It’s worth reading every time. I really enjoy it.
Lori Kennedy: Thank you.
Doug Holt: Absolutely. I mean it. Thanks again for taking the time Lori.
Lori Kennedy: Pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
Doug Holt: Always great talking to Lori. I mean how many people do you know that are on a mission to serve 1 million people? Absolutely fantastic! And Lori’s motto, #MyLifeMyTerms I can say Lori is definitely living her life on her terms. It’s been great to see her growth over the years and I can’t even imagine where she’s going to be. There’s no doubt in my mind she’s going to hit that goal of 1 million, if not surpass it a lot quicker. Amazing people do amazing things and if you’re listening to this show you’re definitely in the 1% club.
Not a lot of people take the time to better themselves so I appreciate you for being here. If you have a moment, please go over to iTunes. If you haven’t already, leave us a 5 star review and please continue this conversation on our Facebook page for Fitness Professional Online. On behalf of the whole crew here at Fitness Professional Online, have a great week and we’ll see you again.
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