January 15, 2021
Dana Smith - Dancing with Fear

Dana is a life coach who works with women who feel like they've lost their spark. These women know they have important contributions to make to the world, but feel lackluster, overwhelmed, and like they're not reaching their ...


Dana is a life coach who works with women who feel like they've lost their spark. These women know they have important contributions to make to the world, but feel lackluster, overwhelmed, and like they're not reaching their potential. 

Dana has shown her passion and aptitude of healing and influencing others through various modes - art, massage therapy, and life coaching. Her profound desire to help others has influenced herself to take a deep dive from her comfort zone and into a new realm.

Through combining her experience and knowledge of her years within the health and wellness industry, she has infused her coaching practice with more creativity, more grit, and more life. She has learned to grab fear by the horns and see all that it has to offer!

Find Robin at  https://www.danasmithwellness.com/

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Transcript
Stephanie Hayes:

Welcome to the real people, real business show where we're talking with business owners who are in the trenches everyday, people who are working hard and have relevant and inspiring stories that you can relate to. Everyone we speak to is actively building and growing their business and is here to share their experiences, lessons, wisdom, and guidance. So you can be inspired to take action towards your own goals today. I'm so excited to welcome Dana Smith. Dana is a life coach who works with women who feel like they've lost their spark. They know they have important contributions to make to the world, but feel lackluster, overwhelmed, and like they're not reaching their potential. Welcome to the show, Dana, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today.

Dana Smith:

Oh my gosh. Thanks for the opportunity to be here. It's nice to hang out with you Stephanie.

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah. I'm so glad to have you on. It's been a little while. Hey, so like I do with everybody. Um, I want to ask you, if you can share with us your journey, how did you get to where you are right now? Where did you start? What were some of the big changes that you went through to get to where you are now?

Dana Smith:

Um, well, it's been an evolution, I'd say definitely at a wandering journey. Um, I started out, I've always worked for small businesses or micro businesses also. So my very first job that I had was, um, a contract that a local artisan, um, she was like a Weaver. And so like, In grade 11, I went and I worked in this micro business where this artisan Weaver, she taught me how to weave on a loom. And like, so I lik right from the very beginning of my business journey. I started with small business and, um, really a lot with makers and people who are creating. Cool things to put into the world. Um, so that was like my first experience. Um, and I think that was pretty, quite foundational. And me understanding like, Oh, this is what having a job as like, and Oh, this is what running a business is. Um, so that was very cool. Um, from there, I, I, there was a lag time, but I lived on a really small Island on the coast of British Columbia here called Hornby Island. Um,

Stephanie Hayes:

I grew up on Hornby island!

Dana Smith:

Oh, you know the magic.

Stephanie Hayes:

I do. I know the magic of Hornby. I grew up every summer on Hornby.

Dana Smith:

Well, we lived there from 2001 to 2009. So we did we ever cross paths?

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah we would have been there at some point? Yeah. Was so cool.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Well, at that time I was, um, creating a hand painted home accessories. Um, my company was called flat cat mats and I was making, um, fine art as well as like craft. Um, so maybe if you attended the farmers and artisans market, you might've been at my booth and there was a chance. Um, so that was my foray into like a more formal structured business where, um, I had a product and I was promoting it and I was attending, you know, the local artisan and fairs and markets. Um, but then I was traveling down to the lower mainland to attend like circle craft fair, and sell my wares. There is also, um, and that, that felt really meaningful. I'm really good. It was, um, Key for me to, to really express myself, um, as an artist in that way. And it was really felt amazing and good. And like, I was fulfilling something that my soul really needed me to do. Uh, there came a time though, when I was like, you know what, I just don't, I need something more. I don't want to just make pretty things for the world. Like I want, I feel like I need, like, I have to do something next level as far as like the influence that I had. Um, so I. My family and I had a little daughter at the time. She was eight and my partner at the time, and we moved down to Vancouver and I started to study massage therapy. Um, and that was a very intense and amazing learning experience. I needed a deep dive. I was super ready. My brain was just like, Ready for some formal education and like so into it. So that was intense and amazing and fabulous. And I know no regrets at all. And in taking that deep dive into that form of healthcare, um, has been an incredibly rewarding career, like incredible. Um, and just even a couple of years and I started to realize um, that I really, I loved helping people like loved it. Like even where, you know, like art was one way of influencing people in an emotive way, like generating an emotion, but. Then I stepped into kind of the healing capacity and guiding people in their healing journeys and being facilitative of their recovery of injury or making sense of themselves in, um, in their new environment of, of navigating an injury or a health diagnosis or something. So. Just even being alongside somebody, um, witnessing and supporting, um, I realized that that is like the sweet spot that I was like that more of that, like, how can I keep doing that? And I had this amazing massage therapy client who said, Hey, Dana, did you know, you're a natural coach. And I'm like, what's it called? I don't even know what that is. Like, you totally have to check this out. I think, I think this would be a really beautiful add on for what you offer. Um, and so I sniffed it out and followed his lead and I, my first coach training, I was just like looking around and I'm like, Oh my gosh. I think I've found my people. It's not just me. This is a thing. And so it was, so it was like this beautiful homecoming where it felt like there was no competition that we were just all coming together in like, for the same reason of. Helping people be awesome. And there's so many different ways that you can do that. And ways you can help people like join them on their journey and kind of fan their flames and, and help them become the best that they can be and getting them behind the wheel and making choices about their lives. So, um, I, my mind was blown. I was just like, Holy crap. This is totally a thing. And I fast-tracked my training and, um, Did the whole thing. I thought it was going to pick up the modules a piece by piece, but I was just like, heck no, let me let it rip. Let's do it. So I did all my foundational training all in a row. And this was at CTI coach training Institute and it's a very experiential learning environment. So it was really refreshing to be in that space, um, which is quite different than my massage therapy training, which is very much like science and applied knowledge and lecture. And it was a different experience being in the. Well, I didn't have any notes, but I feel transformed. I don't know what the heck happened, but that was great. Um, yeah, th the way that it was delivered and just the environment that was created as a result of the coach training and the coaches that I was working with. Totally amazing. So, um, from there, these two amazing skills, um, overlap each other still like every day, I'm still practicing as a massage therapist in Vancouver. So, um, that's still its own standalone practice. Um, but I, my coaching informs all the work that I do, you know, it's like my I'm not life coaching in a massage therapy session per se, but there's certainly room for meaningful. Coaching questions in the therapeutic environment in the sense that, you know, I'm trying to help people get on board with, you know, life changes that they're making like lifestyle changes or, okay. Yeah. Well, you have this injury, so what's it going to take for you to get on board with your recovery? You know, and it's like, you have to create personal meaning out of that to really have to make changes that lasts. So, um, it happens, it shows up in the massage setting, but. Um, I'm now definitely focusing on growing my coaching practice as its own standalone, um, um, experience as well. So of course my healthcare background and interest in health and wellness and, um, positive psychology and all that, it all comes into the coaching realm and it feels really wholesome and delicious and nutritious and heck of a lot of fun too. So here we are.

Stephanie Hayes:

It makes a whole lot of sense, because I know from personal experience, how much of our physical experience is so tied to our emotional experience and the things that are happening in our lives that may not be directly related, but we manifest all of this staff in the way our bodies is showing up. Right. Yeah, I think it makes a ton of sense.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Yeah, it does. And um, I look forward to the field of massage therapy, expanding more to embrace and really embody that type of support because embodied, yeah, like the, the whole concept of the emotional body being tied to the physical body is. Not entirely accepted in the medical world yet. So it doesn't those conversations about psycho, like the psychological impacts in our bodies. Aren't, it's not welcome in my scope of practice, in our scope of practice yet. So there's some growth there, but I think, I think it's coming. Yeah.

Stephanie Hayes:

What do you think it's going to take to, to like, if you were to practice that way, would you be in contravention of your regulations?

Dana Smith:

A little bit. Yes and no. Um, I think if I went a little too deeply into the psychological conversations about what's happening, um, with people's bodies and got them to go on a talking and thinking path of, you know, maybe their past experiences of trauma and how that might relate to their present injury or. That, how they're making sense of what their bodies are telling them in relation to, um, what has happened in the past. Um, you know, if I follow that thread into the past and got really into unpacking the psychological States of being that would be any stepping out of my life, for sure. However, posing questions, holding space, um, being present with what's happening in that therapeutic, um, environment in that moment. Absolutely fine. If they want to lead the conversation, I can hold space for that, but I'm not going to be prying to kind of follow all of their, um, deeper conversations into it. Does that make sense?

Stephanie Hayes:

Well, be a heck of an upsell. I'll tell you that much.

Dana Smith:

And if. If, if my profession doesn't catch up and I really want to go that way, I would have to drop my massage therapy license. Right, right, right.

Stephanie Hayes:

A little bit about your coaching practice. Cause that's kind of where you're moving to. Um, so how do you work with your clients right now?

Dana Smith:

Yeah, I, in a few ways, primarily it's over the telephone or by video. Um, but I also do in-person workshops in Vancouver as well. So, um, those are a variety of different experiences, but, um, I'd say those are the three main ways. Um, I'm running a program right now that is in its early baby stages to, um, that we can talk about when you're ready to, if you want to. Yeah, no,

Stephanie Hayes:

I'm interested in everything that you're kind of bringing to the table. I mean, so you've been, you know, you've been working with people. Do you ha do you work with them on a specific program? Like what are you, what are you diving into and what do you focus on?

Dana Smith:

Yeah, so my coaching packages, I don't typically do one-offs with people though. Occasionally. People will just like want to explore deep, dive a conversation into one conversation. Like a brainstorm session is kind of what I call it. And it can just be helpful to have a think partner in those circumstances. So sometimes I do those one-off conversations, but for the most part, I may be working with people over longer-term transformation. So the shortest package I would. Um, recommend working with somebody would be three months. Um, I have people who I'm kind of like on retainer with, um, who I've worked with for years and years. Um, so it's not that the experience ends, but I'd say that my, um, regular packages are three, six or nine months. Okay. And what's beautiful about that is that we can, um, really do a deep dive, set some goals and have some markers on that journey as far as like, okay, so we've done our six months. Let's have a look back at where we started, where we've gone, look at those markers along the way. Um, and that seems to be a really nice way to do it, just to encapsulate it in this beautiful, um, period of time where a person's doing a beautiful, deep dive.

Stephanie Hayes:

And so who are, who are your clients? You're working primarily with women.

Dana Smith:

Yeah, that's true. It seems that way, men, but women seem to be drawn to me. So I'm just naming it now.

Stephanie Hayes:

Who are these women?

Dana Smith:

Yeah, these women are ambitious. They're heart-centered they're um, a lot of the millennial of the population too. I'm noticing that they're a little bit younger than me. Um, and I guess I might be an elder millennial still trying to make sense of where I fit in that, but a little younger than me. So they're like in their late twenties to early thirties, kind of that span, um, many of them are navigating transitions or they're feeling. Like an inkling that there's something coming, but they don't quite know what it is. And they want to like get everything in order so they can have the biggest impact. So all these people that I work with for sure care about their impact and using their lives in a really awesome way, um, some of them are dealing with like overwhelm exhaustion, burnout, um, and trying to like, crawled their way out of that and trying to create some more balance in their lives. Um, so, so that's a common theme as well. So it's either wanting to make the most of life or feel a heck of a lot better than they currently do feel.

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah. And are they, are they typically in certain, in a certain place in their life? Certain stage of their life or is it kind of all over the place,

Dana Smith:

all over the place, but the common theme is transition. Absolutely. And I think that's quite common for most coaching clients. It's usually a scary time for people where it's like, Oh, I don't know what's up from down or where I'm going. I don't know how to operate this compass anymore. What the heck is happening. So, um, yeah, so I've worked with women who are transitioning. Back into the workplace after having children, um, and just negotiating, like how do I be all these versions of myself? And so, uh, how do I come back to feeling as a whole person instead of a fragmented, um, robot, just kind of like doing all the activities in life and, um, a common theme too, is, uh, people who want to, like, they've had a sense of feeling. Like magic or wonder in their lives, but they're, they're feeling out of touch with that and they want to get back in touch with, we can call it spirituality or, um, spark is what I sometimes refer to it as, or just like that. That titillation that you feel when you're excited about life. So, um, some craving for that and reconnecting with that. Um, what other transitions let's see, um transitioning like in, or out of relationship? Um, not that I'm a relationship coach necessarily, but, um, Sometimes it's really helpful to talk to somebody to get to that resolution and to, um, have a sense of like, who am I, where am I going? What do I want? Um, and then take it from that place, that solid foundation take a look at around your life. Okay. So what's working, what's helping me get there. What's holding me back from getting there, um, and having, having a place to have those conversations, to get to know themselves really deeply unwell.

Stephanie Hayes:

So the life coaching, um, industry is, there are a lot of like life coaches out there. There are a lot of variations on life, coach she's out there. What's, what's unique about you. Like what, how would you differentiat yourself.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Well, I think that the, having the wellness and health background, um, definitely informs my practice and my coaching practice. Um, so some, a lot of people are really drawn to that holistic approach that I bring. Um, I've have, am definitely shining more of a light on the small business aspect as well. So I think that overlapping between, um, You know, operating like growing businesses as well as, um, doing it from a place of heart and alignment. And you absolutely stand for this as well, stephanie. And so I was like growing a business that feels good and growing business that is in alignment with your values and what you actually want to do. Um, Doing it from a place of really understanding yourself, um, makes it more sustainable. And, uh, so it's not going to drain you and you're not going to wake up one day going, what the heck? How did I get here? Yeah I don't like this.

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah. It was like so much, right. And these, this is a, this is a, sort of a new thing for entrepreneurs because we've come out of this world where entrepreneurship and owning your own business meant you're like a hustler and you're working your ass off and you're like sacrificing everything. And that was the badge of honor. And now people are kind of like, yeah, great. But. You know, there's, this can be more. So I really love that you're taking that approach and, and like, what do these people need? What do these entrepreneurs need?

Dana Smith:

Um, they need clarity and confidence is a big, the big key ones, absolutely clarity. Like w who am I, what am I offering confidence that like, yeah, I know, I know what steps I need to take or what general direction I'm going, or, um, confidence to speak about what it is that they offer, um, that they have, you know, good bookkeeping systems in place, confidence. They knew how to actually do that. Um, And I, I, it feels like this is a nice little segue for me to just kind of speak to the program that I'm offering. Um, so I've been in collaboration with my accountant and she's like the most unicorn of accountants out there. She actually likes working with micro businesses. Can you believe it? I know I know. She's young and spunky and very relatable, easy to talk to super grounded. Um, so she's been a real asset to me for the past few years. Um, and so I was in this like, Hmm. I have an idea thing last summer where I was like, you know, most of my coaching clients are coming to me. Um, knowing that I have small business background in the wellness industry. Um, and they're like asking me for support and advice about how to do that. And I'm like, huh, geez. That's a few people in a row that I've asked me for the same sort of coaching slash slash consultation sort of support. So I was like, maybe I should make this a thing. I seem to be repeating myself. Cool. Seems like a cue. So, so I started to hash out the idea for this, um, wellness business startup program. Um, and I was like, I should ask Harmic her name's Harmic, um, of blue skies, accounting. And I was like, maybe she could help me put together like some basic bookkeeping pointers. Um, as far as you know, like what, what are some good things, you know, it's like, I could. Find something, but surely she's an expert. Wouldn't that be great. And then we started talking and realized shortly after it's like, we should partner on this. This is like way more fun if we do it together. So, um, it's turned into a program. That's a four-month long program. Um, and it has six pillars of like business foundation. And this is for like early, early, early business startups. So like, okay. So. Things you need to know about or how to track your income and your expenses. Very simple. Right. But super foundational that we all need to do. So that's what we're looking for is like, what do we all need to do in this sort of service-based environment? Um, wellness environment. Um, that we can just kind of compartmentalize, have a little guidebook, have some guides that will take you through this little startup journey. Um, and, and so that's, that's kind of what we're doing. So you get six accounting sessions, um, with Harmic and you get eight coaching sessions with me. Um, and at the end of the four months, you hopefully will have like a really solid foundation and some confidence to like, say, yeah. Okay. I know, I know what I'm doing now. I have the systems in place. Okay,

Stephanie Hayes:

so this is totally interesting. This is like a left turn because this is, this is moving from life coaching now to almost business coach. Yeah. It's okay. This is super interesting. So now, now you're looking at building a business that combines your business experience plus life coaching. Yeah. So the, what, what's the work that you're doing with these clients?

Dana Smith:

I'm life coaching within this environment. Yeah. So I am doing like the mindset work. I am doing the conversations about like language and clarity working with like, All the crappy things that come up. Oh my God. So many when you're in like the, I'm trying to promote myself as a, sell a thing, like, Oh my gosh. Hello, all of the negative things that come up. Right. So how to navigate that, develop the skills and tools to get through the psychodrama that totally shows up in the business realm, especially when you're starting to get used to. Saying that you do a thing and that it has value and that people should buy it or buy into it. So, um, uh, a lot of, and of course it's like values based like we talked about earlier. So it's like really unearthing a lot of core values and trying to use that as to inform the actions that we take as we build our businesses.

Stephanie Hayes:

Look, I think this is super smart because here's what you've done. You've taken these people who are in business and you've given them something super practical to lead with, which is kind of when people are in that phase, that's what they're looking for. Like really tactical, super practical things that they, that are just going to get them moved forward really quickly. But then you're bolting on this stuff that, you know, they need. But at that stage in the game, they're probably not looking for because they don't, they haven't yet realized how important it is. And so this is, this is really fascinating to me. This is super cool. How many people have you had through the program?

Dana Smith:

So we're in our very first iteration and, um, it's going great. We have two participants. Um, one is a brand newly minted chiropractor, and the other is a woman who's in the MLM. So she sells essential oils, but, um, What she's doing is it feels a lot less product based because she's at our leadership roles in the organization. So she is leading a team. So it's very much about service, right? So we thought we'd give it a try and see. And so far it's been a really good fit. Um, so we have two willing participants and, um, Yeah, we have a special arrangement with them to give us some feedback as we're developing the program. Cause they know, um, they know where we're at to that we are in our first iteration. And so they're in support of us kind of experimenting with them. And um, so that feels really great. It feels super support, re reciprocally supportive, um, in that regards. And that's, that feels really authentic to me. Um,

Stephanie Hayes:

this is fantastic. This is like you're falling into a niche and it makes a whole lot of sense. So w. You want to build this out and do you intend to continue to run it as a one-on-one type program?

Dana Smith:

Um, I think that's the part of it. That's the secret sauce. And that's where I feel really confident right now about what we're offering is even if the program sucks, which I don't think it does, even if it does. I know that the one-to-one contact that I'm having with my people is going to be very impacting, you know? And if, if that's all they get from it. They win. Right. Um, but I don't think that the, the pillars and the structure that we're building is poor, but I'm just, um, it feels good to give myself, uh, kind of an out, should make it feel safe for myself. Cause it's totally feels like I'm on a limb for sure. Sure we do.

Stephanie Hayes:

That's how we live. Right. You've got to have the tolerance and the, and the courage to go out on a limb and to, to give that stuff a try. And I think what's really cool is that you found this opportunity kind of landed in your lap in a sense, and you, you ran with it right. Rather than trying to stay rigid to your original business model, because here's, what's really cool about you is that you have this wide and varied experience and you are relatable to these people. Because you've done what they want to do, but you're also connecting like people in my experience, people in the health and wellness fields, they are like their heart centered. They have a strong desire to connect in that way. Right. And so there you're giving them what they, what they crave, but also giving them the things that they sort of reluctantly need. Right.

Dana Smith:

That's true. True fact.

Stephanie Hayes:

What a super interesting opportunity.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Thanks for, for recognizing that. It's um, I'm glad I was able to kind of just get out of my head and like fall into like, wait a minute. I'm really seeing some trends. Like, what is my intuition hyping up about, um, and kind of following that. And it's, it's generating a lot of, um, interest in like authentic interest. Um, people are reaching out and I have a couple of people who are like, Hey, what are you up to? I think I might need that. And I'm like, okay, cool. Let's, let's play. Let's do this. Let's chat.

Stephanie Hayes:

So how are people finding you?

Dana Smith:

It's just like my immediate circle, my immediate following, um, online I'm through my web site. No, it's not, it's not even promoted anywhere other than on my social media streams. Like I've, um, through Instagram and Facebook, those are my two main ones that I, um, am most active on. Um, people have some people fair enough, and just starting to have conversations with people like yourself and, um, other people.

Stephanie Hayes:

Awesome. Awesome. Well, I love this. I love this. So let's talk about sort of the trajectory of your business, because I've known you for now what a year or so, and watched you kind of go from where you started last year, around this time to, um, where you are right now. And I could see like a major shift and it's, it's really cool to watch. So tell me a little bit about that trajectory. Like what what's kind of changed in your business over the last year. What's what have you learned? What's been sort of pivotal to you getting to where you are.

Dana Smith:

Um, I think last year, Stephanie, where I was at was like feeling this like deep desire to bring action and infuse my coaching practice with more life. But what was holding me back was being overextended. And so, I mean, aware, shared the massage therapy hat and the coaching hat, but I was also, and still am teaching at the massage therapy college. Um, Uh, in Vancouver. So there I'm an instructor and responsible for some student responsibilities and all the things. And I've been developing, um, a student resilience program there for the past three years. So I provide one-to-one support for students and provide, um, opportunities for them to deepen their own personal resilience by, you know, workshops about managing anxiety and test anxiety or, um, You know, studenty things, studenty things, it's a very demanding program. Um, so, um, I've worked closely with the college administration and we've been fleshing out this program and trying to embody that. So, um, yeah, living in the realms of. Uh, mental health and wellness, um, personal resilience as well. So a lot of my creative energies have been going, um, to student support, um, and trying to take, create and tailor a program that fits the college and what their abilities are and where their resources can take us. Um, so that's been massive as far as like one of my creative outlets. Um, and it's, I'm at a point now where I'm ready to step away from the college for a period of time. Um, and also I've reduced my clinical hours, uh, in massage therapy, which is nuts and amazing and great. So I think like where a year ago I was, I was operating at like, I don't know, 400%. And now I feel like I'm operating at a hundred percent and it feels in a way healthier.

Stephanie Hayes:

What's enabled you to do that.

Dana Smith:

Um, Uh, dancing with fear dance, lots of fear dancing. So, um, of course around, uh, finances, you know, so when I, when you're working in this realm, if you don't work, you don't earn money. Um, particularly in massage therapy, you know, it's like a dollar per hour sort of situation. So, um, when I work less, I earn less money. So reducing my clinical hours to half has been, uh, very impacting, uh, in my financial rails. But, you know, I've had to take a look at it and go, we can all, but I'm in this for the long haul. So, you know, if I'm going to grow my coaching practice, um, I need to invest, you know, and it's going to take time and money, you know? So I've had to, that's the main fear that I've been working with is like, okay, so how, how do I navigate this? Like, how do we get there? How do I feel okay about it?

Stephanie Hayes:

So how did, how did you navigate it? Because I know that this was a theme for you last year, for sure. Yeah. When we would have conversations and you did it right. You, you kind of just did it, but this is a really important thing for others, right. Because it's, it's where a lot of people are stuck.

Dana Smith:

Yeah, absolutely. Um, I guess, you know, it's. For me, I got sick of hearing my own story. You know, I got so sick of hearing. Oh, I don't have enough time or I don't have enough money. Oh, I'll never. And I was like, Oh, for God's sake, listen to you. You sound awful. Like this is terrible. You're annoying me do something about it. How badly, like you have choices, Dana, you seriously have a lot of choices in front of you make a choice. And do the one that feels right, how badly do you want this coaching practice to grow? And I'm like, well, really badly. Well, what are you going to do?

Stephanie Hayes:

What did you do? What was pivotal for you? Because you're like super relaxed now and you're super confident and you're just like, yeah, I'm owning this.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. I'm getting like, I had to use some. I had to use some credit, some business credit to make this possible, you know, and I was not comfortable with that previously. Um, so I had access to this credit, but I was just like, Oh, I'm too scared, scared. But it was about when I looked at it in a way of like, it's not me being, um, you're responsible with money. This is me strategically investing in a business. Now you have to, you don't make something out of nothing, particularly in this sort of realm, right? It's like, uh, you, you, it takes time. It takes energy, it takes resources, right? So they're all forms of resources. And when I stepped out of took the personal bit out of it and looked at it as, okay, so businesses. Need investments to start. Like you, you, you start with something. So Dana, stop thinking about this as you being, um, irresponsible with money and going into debt. No, you're making a strategic business move to invest a chunk of money into your resources, which is you and your time to grow this. Right. So, um, reframing, um, Reframing it for myself so that I could look at it in that way. It was hugely important. Um, because most businesses, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to start, right. Like so much. And I'm like, okay, well this is not a brick and mortar business. You have way less overhead, way less risk. The only thing that's stopping you from making this into something it's yourself.

Stephanie Hayes:

So. I am so happy. You just said all of this as a conversation I was just having the other day. I've just, uh, I've just finished up on a sales launch and it's always fascinating to me, um, to watch people balk at making investments in their business, because in the, you know, before we had the internet, You want it to start up a business? You are putting away a hundred, $200,000, right? It is not uncommon to have to make an investment in your business. And we, I just wrote a post about this too. Like we all try to DIY everything and it's like, if you want to learn to play the piano. You get a kiddo teacher. You want to like learn how to lift weights. You go get a personal trainer and nobody looks at you and goes, Oh, well obviously you're too stupid to know how to do, play the piano and, and Oh, shame on you. Why do we all think we have to be able to DIY our business businesses like business is a skill. It's a skill. I went to school for $40,000 to learn how to be a good business person. And. There's all these people thinking they have to learn how to DIY their business and they won't spend $5,000 to make sure that they can do it. Right. I mean, that's my perspective on it. And I love hearing that you had that shift, but is that, I mean, is that common in these people that you're dealing with too, they're making an investment in their business and they're themselves. So where's how do we get people thinking about. Investments as something that is necessary to get their business off the ground.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Good question. Um, That's a great question, you know, and I've been on both sides of that, like really like really resisting. Um, and now being on the other side where I'm still, I don't feel like I'm being frivolous with these investments. You know, I'd rather not have debt, but whatever we'll get there. I intend on, um, And I think it's like shifting about playing the long game, you know, and you're really great at speaking to this that it's like a slow grow and that's how you build a sustainable business. It's um, it's not about like making the quick wins and I think we hear a lot of that online as well. It's like so annoying, so annoying. Cause it's not real or sustainable. So many of these promises that we hear. Um, and so trying to disengage from all that information that we hear and think, okay, well, what is it that we ultimately want? To experience with, or create in the world with our businesses. And what is it that like, how long is that going to take and what's it going to require? You know, it's like the visions that I have for the impact that I want to make through this medium, which I'm not even exactly sure what the vehicle is, but like way off there in the distance, I can, I can see it. Like, I feel it it's like there's something big, come in and it's going to be really impacting in large. Um, and right now, these a little tools that I'm using, these are the vehicles I'm driving to get me there. And I know it will change over time. Cause it has like, I've experienced that. Like it's, I didn't think I'd be here. I started out. Heck no, but it's like perfect. I'm like, Oh, so wait a minute. This like helping other wellness business owners grow their businesses means that my impact is increasing and I'm building this army of people who are helping other people. I feel better in the world and I'm like, all this is so on point, this is amazing. So it's like being in touch with, um, what level of impact I ultimately want to have in my lifetime, through my businesses. And just my personal impact in the world, um, has helped me kind of recognize which steps help, helped to take me where I need to go.

Stephanie Hayes:

And yeah, if I die, having only ever educated people that that's okay, that you can be here in, not up here already. And that this is like going to get you there. I will be happy. I will die a happy person, because that is the, I think that is the big. Important message that people need to hear. And I need to be on a crusade to make sure that all of the garbage that's out there right now promising you the six figures in six weeks eliminated because that is what causes so much fear. So much shame, so much failure earlier out there, people walking away from their businesses. Cause that's the expectation that step right.

Dana Smith:

Hm, totally. And talk about peer pressure, right? Like I've, I mean, the coaching room to like, just to riff off of what you're saying there about false information. Um, like I just, I think life coaching has kind of a, like a floozy sort of perception in the world. It's like, Oh yeah. I had a friend who did that for awhile. It's like, Whoa, I feel judged there. Um, but a lot of, a lot of what that is, is like this. Inflation of praise for the people who took the leap and jumped in with two feet and like put everything on the line and they did what they had to, you know, and it's like, that's going to work for some people for so many cool, but not many of us have to patch it together, you know? And like, Maybe it's a side hustle for a period of time. And then maybe, you know, like you're witnessing me right now trying to like shift my focus, um, to grow this part of things. And it's like a slow grow and it's not like. Um, it's not like you get those overnight successes. And I think that's where, like what you were saying, like a lot of the failure that we see, or like that shame that comes up for people, it's like, Oh, it didn't happen. How, you know, the internet told me it would. So therefore I fail and I suck and I'm a bad human. I should go hide under a rock. It's terrible. It's just an unnecessary pressure.

Stephanie Hayes:

Great. Well, you can join my crusade to stop that

Dana Smith:

for health and happiness

Stephanie Hayes:

truth, right? Is it is, it is. It has to be slow and intentional. It doesn't mean you have to slow down. You can keep growing, but you got to stand and watch what's happening. You, you are where you are right now because you took a moment to stand back and go, okay, listen, let me take stock. Right. And you were smart enough to realize that there's a shift that needs to happen. And if you can produce that same shift for others in your life, coaching hat inside of a business coaching box was brilliant. Yeah, that's brilliant.

Dana Smith:

That's the hope and that shift might be in different realms, right? It might not be particularly about investing in your business, but whatever that shift is, um, if that happens, like you said, I'd be happy to die to day

Stephanie Hayes:

dying, happy people by contributing our little piece of that, that journey, right?

Dana Smith:

Oh my gosh.

Stephanie Hayes:

So, so you're in this kind of growth phase right now, right? And so what's worked for you in terms of growth?

Dana Smith:

Like you said, slowing down, stopping thrashing around.

Stephanie Hayes:

You're my poster child for slow business. I'm just going to get Dana out there talking.

Dana Smith:

Fantastic. It's hard. It's uncomfortable because when you. When you, you have to like, you're going to be experiencing all that longing and that want, um, To like be where you're not. And that's where people jump to. I need the quick fix, right? Because the experience of, well, these are my income goals, but actually realistically given how much time I have and what steps are involved in the connections I need to make and the trust to build, and that all like layers into to the timeline that you're able to achieve those things. Right. Um, and it's uncomfortable if it's, if you look at it and you're like, ah, crap, Not going to meet my income goals. I want that yesterday, like that's sucks. So it's being able to sit in that discomfort and still feel like you're on track and not beat yourself up about it. That's that's, that's the hard part, right? That's that's where all the, where I feel like in, in a program that I'm offering, having that one-to-one support. By a coach is really helpful to keep getting clear and back into that energy, that draws more opportunities from you operating in like an authentic place. Um, then you're able to take those baby steps forward because it's easy to get kiboshed by those crappy mindsets. And then you start thrashing around and like I've done in the past where I'm looking like, Oh, I shouldn't be somewhere else. Ah, do all the things all at once. And that all fails, never works. So slowing down, getting clear on like, Who am I, where am I going? What matters and what steps right now, can I take to like start moving in that direction and be satisfied with that?

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah. And it's that little incremental progress rather than big, huge leaps. That's real. And that's, that's, you know, I think the people who. Make these huge leaps all at once are few and far between, and it happens, but it's not what we need to set up the expectation because that just sets a whole different mindset around, um, around what to expect. Right. So can you see yourself in the future, continuing on with this sort of thread working with the health and wellness entrepreneurs, um, or do you want to continue to have a bit of a mix in your business where you're working with other people too?

Dana Smith:

Oh, I'll always be a forever mixer. I'm a mixologist for sure. You can count on me for that. I think there's continuity in the themes and topics that I'm working in, but, um, yeah, I will always, it would be foolish for me to say that I'll be doing this forever. Um, You know, as long as there's a need and as long as I still feel called to do this work, um, yeah. I'll keep showing up. But, um, absolutely. But I'm sure there will be other avenues that I'll be expanding my offerings. Absolutely.

Stephanie Hayes:

Well, for instance, I love this work you're doing around resilience. Right. And I know you're doing it specifically for the students, but that sounds like a program that could translate into your regular practice too. Right?

Dana Smith:

Exactly. And I mean, Between you, me and the entire internet. Um, when I pitched this idea to the college too, I was like, Oh my gosh, this is a really cool. Incredible like test kitchen to try out a bunch of things. Um, knowing that, you know, eventually I would not be at the college forever and ever, but that, you know, this could also, um, be something that I could offer up, um, in my coaching practice as well. So yeah. Absolutely there's, um, skills and things that I've developed, like in that environment that it's completely transferable to, um, to the general population. If they're interested in, you know, human performance and bettering themselves managing stress and all those things.

Stephanie Hayes:

I agree now, um, one of the things about coaching is that there's, I think there's still some stigma attached to hiring a coach. That's that seems to be this almost this admission of defeat. Right. Whereas I like to flip that around and say, if you don't trust a coach who hasn't hired a coach, you know what I mean? So what kind of support have you had along the way?

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Um, actually just yesterday. Amazing. I had, I worked with this amazing coach healer and coach, um, Kelly Lynch and she, um, we worked together in 2015 when I was kind of at the tail end of, out of my foundational coach training. Um, And we reconnected yesterday and sh you know, it was just amazing to like, catch up with her and find out like where her coaching practice has grown and diversified. And she's gone really often to like more of the healing realms, um, like incredible work with like archetypes and like shamonic work. And it's just fantastic. Right. So I worked with Kelly. I've worked with. Um, through my certification process, it was required for me to work with a coach while I was going through that coach certification. So, um, that I worked with a business consultant slash coach along the way, too. Um, yeah, I mean, I've pretty much always. Yeah. Always, I've always had so much fun. We have a mastermind and that team very well supported as well. So, um, yeah, I, uh, I've always had, uh, uh, somebody holding my back, you know,

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah, and I think that's important to, to take the stigma away from that and, um, and make it okay. Like you, you have permission to get the mentorship and the, in, at different stages in your business, what you need from that perspective is going to change a lot, right?

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Stephanie Hayes:

So in your business, are you focused on local clients or are you working with people anywhere?

Dana Smith:

Um, at the moment it's local, um, just because, uh, the online side of my business is new to me, I'm worked more developing, like one-on-one connections with people in person. Um, just the nature of massage therapy and being in her Vancouver community for the past decade. That's just how it is. Um, But, yeah, I mean, even still, like, because I know those people in the flesh, we're still working in the online space together, um, by video for instance, and working over the phone. So it's very much transferable. Um, we don't have any plans for expanding internationally just because we understand the business realms of British Columbia, Canada. So, um, at this point, That's the type of support that we're offering. So just sticking within our province or country, I don't know how varied it is. I mean, life coaching is, can go across the world, but as far as like the financial support that Harmic is offering, um, I can't speak for her on what she's comfortable with in that regard.

Stephanie Hayes:

Right. I would expect you to stay within Canada. Yeah. I don't know that changes all that much from province to province, but yeah, it starts to become a little bit of a different story. Once you get into the U S based accounting.

Dana Smith:

Exactly. So, yeah, so that feels safe to me. It feels nice to know that I'm just like working with my peeps here in Canada. I think that, that, um, that sense of safety speaks to my desires to make baby steps, you know, it's like, okay. Yeah, that feels safe to me right now. Like, I feel like I can, I can show up fully in that space, but, um, so just another Testament to baby steps that feel scary and safe at the same time. And I think that's really important.

Stephanie Hayes:

I love this concept of dancing with fear because it's, you know, like you said earlier, it's, it's, it's like, well, what is fear giving me? Right? Because there is, there is a little bit of a gift on the, on the backside of that fear where it's actually unveiling an opportunity. Yeah. You're able to watch and listen. That fear is an indication that there's something, something happening there in terms of growth isn't there.

Dana Smith:

Oh, heck yeah. Any paying of strong emotion that you have is like a beautiful little road sign to go, Hey, look, we can check that out if you want there's something going on. And fear of course is not usually when we want to stop and check out, but it usually has so much to offer, you know, and, and usually beautiful things, but it's just the. Like scary bits on the surface of your, that we don't really want to engage with. But beyond that, when you'd like start asking questions and feeling into it, there is so much beauty there. Like that's where the gold is. Right?

Stephanie Hayes:

So, so you're a life coach. How do you, how do you recommend people? Because a lot of times people will automatically react. They have this automatic reaction to fear and you, I mean, I know you know this because we've been through a program together that fear. Uh, will often be the driver of people's negative behavior. Right. We, we S we fear, fear something, and we immediately turn away from it. Right. So it's not easy to just like plow straight into it. I'm at the point now where I, I get scared of something, I'm like, let's go forward towards it. Right. Because I know, I know. And I have the experience to know that, and I have the mindset work and I have the blood. Most people do not have not done that work yet. So what's the, what's the little thing you can advise people to do to like, not turn away from it and start changing.

Dana Smith:

Like, just be aware of it, not turn away from fear and start changing their behavior because it's scary. Get curious. Just get curious. As soon as you shift into the mindset of curiosity, you disengage. So many things. So if you're like, instead of going, that's scary or uncomfortable and just reacting, if you go, Oh, I feel scared or I feel really uncomfortable right now. Wow. That's interesting. I'm just going to sit here in this for a minute and just like, see what I can learn from this. It's like, Oh, look what I noticed, you know? And it can be getting in touch with your body. It's like, Oh, I have like really sweaty palms right now. I'm noticing that there's like tension in my neck. I'm noticing that I'm breathing really up high here. I'm frowning in my forehead. Oh, that's interesting. What happens if I change that? Oh, okay. So what do I notice now? Oh, interesting. Something's changed in me. Like somehow the fear doesn't feel so scary when I softened my body. That's interesting. I wonder what that's about. Okay. So you can just keep like, observing these changes, observing what you notice in yourself and like our bodies tell us so much and we just need to learn the language. Right. So, um, uh, I, I mean, in the massage therapy rounds, like I'm often helping people. Diff like, um, uh, differentiate what, what these signals are from their bodies. And that's the key is like, get curious. It's like, Oh, just because we have an automatic response to tense up or something, you know, it doesn't mean it has to be that way all the time. You don't have to identify with that Oh I'm just a tense person. Um, that's just how it will always be. I think that's a beautiful metaphor for everything, you know, like when you're engaging with fear, for instance, Oh, it's scary. But. Is that the only way we can be like, what's another way we could be right now. Hmm. What happens if I stopped from my shoulders? Oh, okay. Now what's possible. And just keep asking her, like, make those little micro changes and then keep asking. Okay, well now what's possible. Oh, interesting. What did I learn now? Huh? Huh. And then you can kind of follow the breadcrumb trail back and piece it all together. Um, as you go,

Stephanie Hayes:

I think we just came up with your bite-size offer.

Dana Smith:

Um, did we?

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah, we did. I love, I love this idea because I, I suspect a lot of the things that your people start with is fear. Right. And they can't get past it. What have you had just like a little tiny offer that allowed people to just figure out how to move from fear, controlling them to getting curious and how we, how we manage and deal with fear. Yeah. Yeah. Fine. Boom done, done. I know I'm going to be sending a whole bunch of people to that, but so you've had this amazing journey even just in the last year, but all the way back to the start of your career. And you've picked up all these bits and pieces along the way, which I think is what's so cool about people's journeys, right? They like, it's not just where you're at right now, but it's where you've come from too. So w what do you wish you knew when you started out.

Dana Smith:

I wish, Oh gosh. So many things. So many things. Definitely. I wish I knew how to be kinder to myself earlier on. You know, I've been so hard on myself, so perfectionist, so like shutting myself down all the time, because it's not just how it should be. Um, yeah. I put a really high standard that has left me paralyzed, um, in a lot of situations where I haven't been able to move forward because it's not good enough or it's not. Whatever this stupid high standard that I don't even know where it came from.

Stephanie Hayes:

It's fear. Perfectionism is just a manifestation of fear.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. It is fear of being like all of the things. Yeah, absolutely. So, um, so that, yeah, being comfortable with being wrong, making mistakes, um, yeah, so just being kinder to myself because I've. Uh, and I still live with this, you know, I'm so critical of myself and I have to have a lot of heavy-duty conversations. Like what's going on in here. I'm like, what the hell? Like, you would never talk to somebody else like you talk to yourself, so what is going on there? That is just not kind. So, um, yeah. So if I could have got on board with that sooner, I think, I think I'd be in a different place, but that's okay. It's um, You know, if I hadn't been I'm, I'm perfect. How I am, you know, how I am and were absolutely perfect. Um, and I shouldn't be anywhere else than I am right now, but, um, if I had a wish for myself, it would have been a nicer ride to be a little nicer along the way.

Stephanie Hayes:

I love that. That was your insight because it fits so perfectly. You are you're in this perfectly. So I can't even tell you how different the experience of speaking with you today is from a year ago, right? Just having that outside perspective, you have grown so much and, and like your mindset and you are in a perfect position to be able to help other people make that same journey.

Dana Smith:

Well, thanks for naming that and witnessing it.

Stephanie Hayes:

Yeah. Um, what's next for you? More of this?

Dana Smith:

More, more, it's really fun. That's a really key indicator that I'm on the right track and where I generate a lot of power is if it feels fun. Um, so I'm gonna keep. I'm playing and I'm going to keep, um, being creative and tap into that. And I keep being kind and I'm going to keep being gentle to myself because all those things help me be the best version of myself. That's going to help me. Help the people of the world who can help the people in the world and that's how we make change. Right. So, um, yeah, I got to keep having fun and when I have fun, I draw the right people and we make awesome change. So

Stephanie Hayes:

I love it. I love it. And what kind of support do you need in order to get there?

Dana Smith:

I just need to keep showing up for myself. I need to keep supporting myself because I have a. I know what to do, and it's just a matter of strategically doing it. Um, so the support that I need is, you know, maybe my, my circle around me just to continue, uh, cheering me on witnessing me, answering my questions, you know, um, I'm just feeling so grateful for this rich community that I've been developing to, um, who really get me and see me. And I'm like, you're one of those people and it's been so, so wonderful to be validated and seen because, um, You know, business can be kind of this weird lonely place, right? That's like they don't have one thing. You want a boy

Stephanie Hayes:

Dana, if that's how you're going out and marketing your services, I think we need to talk.

Dana Smith:

Oh, God. Yes, no, don't worry. It's not, I've learned enough. Cause it feels like that. Sometimes it does.

Stephanie Hayes:

Okay. Listen, we're we're at time. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Can you tell the listeners where they can find you?

Dana Smith:

Oh, thanks so much for this. It's been such a delight to hang out with you, Stephanie, it's been really fun and so glad you could join what a great start to the day. Um, I, you can find me online at Dana Smith wellness. So that's all the, I think all the threads will take you all the places. Um, I mainly hang out on Facebook and Instagram are kind of my two social Hangouts. Um, and it just started just yesterday. I started a Facebook group, so I'm pretty excited to populate that. And, um, I'm putting a lot of energy into bringing the right people to play along in that space as well. Um, yeah. So Dana Smith, Wellness and I, a little baby website, that's still underway and you know, one little step at a time. It ain't perfect. And I'm okay with that.

Stephanie Hayes:

Hey, Oh, I love to hear that from you. Um, you mentioned you had a free offer to share with our listeners. Do you want to tell us more about it? And we'll put the links to everything in your show notes, including the link to your Facebook group. So you got to send me that too.

Dana Smith:

Yeah. Yeah. So the Facebook group would be the free offer. So I really want that to be like, The place to hang out. Of course, I'm always interested in hopping on, into conversation with people if they ever want to. I do consult calls all the time. So if you just want to hang out for 30 minutes and chat, I'd be very happy to connect with like-minded individuals and just hear what dreams and passions people want to infuse into the world. Happy to spend time with people in a, in a, in a collaborative way that way as well. Awesome. Yeah. That's those are the big ones.

Stephanie Hayes:

Thank you so much. That's an amazing gift. And I'm pretty sure there'll be some people who want to take you up on that after this awesome conversation. Okay. So we're going to wrap such an amazing conversation. I love the conversation about fear. This is something that we all need to dive into on a regular basis and develop practice around. So make sure you can go check out Dana on her website and in her channels and take advantage of that incredible offer to have a chat with her. And thank you so much for tuning in today to hear this story. The episodes that you're listening to are all featuring members of my free private Facebook group called the real deal business coaching group, where you can have daily prompts to keep you focused on building your business and sharing your everyday challenges. Uh, bi-weekly virtual coffee chats, open coaching and member support from this incredible community. If you'd like to join our community, or if you'd like to be featured on the show, I would love for you to come and hang out with us in the group. Links in the show notes or search us up and real deal business coaching group in Facebook and find us there. And finally, I would love for you to join us for our next episode. We're going to be speaking to you, vesna Hogan, who is an old, old friend of mine and a dear friend, and she has totally pivoted and started a new business last year making beautiful fabric gift bags that are heirloom quality to help people with their constraints on time who hate rapping, who are eco-conscious or just want to start a gift giving tradition of reusing gift wrapping. It creates love and connection in the gift giving process. And her story is freaking amazing. I love her. So thank you again for being here and if you've enjoyed today's content, I would love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on. This helps us share our stories with an even bigger audience. And until next time, keep building, keep training and keep being real.