Just start — I was a perfectionist. I took forever because I thought I was not ready enough to get started. I waited so many months before selling something online! I’ve learned that it’s ok to get going and tweak along the way. You can’t get it perfect the first time.
As a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Fabienne Raphaël.
Fabienne is a business building coach, speaker and podcaster. With her one on one coaching and Mastermind Group, she helps aspiring and underpaid coaches become highly paid experts by building their coaching business and live their true purpose.
Her background in radio and television hosting allowed her to conduct unique interviews on her top-ranked Marketing to Crush your Competitors podcast, where she has broadcasted 300 episodes. Through the course of her career, she has even hosted her own TV show.
Fabienne has also shared the stage with John Lee Dumas, Chris Brogan, and Sue Zimmerman, and spoke at the last New Media Europe conference in London. She has been featured in Forbes, ABC, FOX, CBS, Inc. and Huffington Post and has appeared on over 30 podcasts, such as CopyChief Radio and Entrepreneur on Fire.
As a former elite athlete and physical therapist, Fabienne brings a high level of energy, radiance, and authenticity to lead her clients to a thriving business that meets their expectations.
Last but not least, Fabienne was an athletes’ mentor with the Canadian delegation at the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?
I remember a happy childhood. Playing with friends, admiring my big brother and wanting to follow him everywhere, but also passionate about music and drawing. I wanted to become a teacher or a nurse, as these were what my parents were doing. I never thought that I would eventually become an entrepreneur. Somehow, in my mind, it appeared weird to choose that path. (Of course, because it was so far from what I knew.) I grew up in a house where my parents cared a lot about high education and getting the best job possible, the longest possible. Then, retire after 30 years at the same place…Not exactly the path that I had!
What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah-ha” moment with us?
It was mostly meeting my business and life partner. Let’s say he was a great influence. And still is today! He introduced me to personal development and the idea of working for myself. At the time, I was working full-time as a physical therapist. I resigned as an employee and they hired me at the same place as self-employed. That was the beginning of me working for myself. Along my journey, I had a healthcare agency, home staging business, and now, a coaching business.
There are no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?
I was lucky because I was never alone in this. My life-partner and I form a great team. When I felt weak, he was my driving force. My coaching business came to mind because of the lifestyle it provides and the change and impact it can have on my clients’ lives. It is so fulfilling to witness their evolution, individually and in business. I was never afraid to invest in myself to learn more and be better at my craft. I still do.
So let’s say that when you hire the right resources, it takes some pressure off and allows you to go forward.
What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living?
I would ask them how they would feel in their deathbed if they had not given that project a chance? Are they better off living with the pain of discipline or dying with the pain of regrets? Jim Rohn spoke about that concept.
It’s said that the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living. How do you keep from changing something you love into something you dread? How do you keep it fresh and enjoyable?
It’s actually easy for me. Because I concentrate on how what I do helps other people live their purpose and change their lives. Each client’s win is a win for me too. Them making more money, them becoming a better person, them impacting the world with their gifts are extremely fulfilling for me!
What is it that you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides of running your own business? Can you share what you did to overcome these drawbacks?
What I enjoy the most about running my business is the freedom it gives me. I can live my life on my own terms and I really appreciate this. I can manage my time as I want. I can work with whomever I want. But also, it fills me with joy to watch my clients evolve.
The downside is that at the beginning, you have to do everything. Before being able to delegate, I had to understand many parts of running a business. Also, working with my life partner (who is my marketing strategist), came with a few challenges. Along the way, I learned to hire the resources I need to be better and concentrate only on my zone of genius, which are relationships, clients work and leading workshops, presentations, and my mastermind group. I delegate my weaknesses. I focus on my strengths.
Can you share what was the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?
I guess you mean business here. When I entered the “work for myself journey” as an entrepreneur, I thought that it would all be sunshine and rainbows. Obviously, it wasn’t! Owning a business is the best personal development there is on this planet. Period. If you think starting a business is hard, you are right. It is. And more. I’m pretty happy to have chosen that route though. I’m quite proud of my journey.
Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so how did you overcome it?
Many times! Seriously. At times, it was really really tough. But reminding myself why I chose that path helped me overcome the many challenges. I am a former elite athlete. I played handball for Team Canada — so to persevere to achieve a goal and to be resilient are qualities that I have and that helped a lot along the way.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I literally thought that because I had a website, people would automatically click on it and find me and my business. That was when I had a healthcare agency. I had no clue about marketing, especially online! When I think about it today, I find it funny.
Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?
Oprah. Michelle Obama. Kobe Bryant. Jim Rohn. Will Smith. What all these leaders have in common is the number of lives they touched personally with something they said, something they taught, something they did, and how they walk the talk.
Changing the world. One person at the time. That’s how I see what I do in business.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
What I do with my clients allow them to become a better version of themselves. A happier human being. And we definitely need more of that in the world today.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- It’s harder than you think — I was prepared for the hurdles, but not like that. I took a few hits and at times, needed to hire people to help me overcome mainly my limiting beliefs.
- Hire a coach — I had the tendency to invest in learning more with online classes instead of hiring a coach to lead the way. I took way too long before making that investment. And this is when things started shifting for me.
- Just start — I was a perfectionist. I took forever because I thought I was not ready enough to get started. I waited so many months before selling something online! I’ve learned that it’s ok to get going and tweak along the way. You can’t get it perfect the first time.
- Your environment is key — Jim Rohn used to say that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. He was right! So I would have invested in friendships with other entrepreneurs way before!
- Don’t talk about your business to people who are not in business — I thought that everyone would have the same excitement about my project. Not really. The thing is that the majority of people are afraid to do such a thing because they prefer to play it safe. So it brings us back to #4.
What person wouldn’t want to work doing something they absolutely love. You are an incredible inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would actually create a curriculum for kids in elementary school called: “Nurture and own your happiness” — teaching them how they are responsible for their mental health and they have to find what makes them happy and not tolerate the presence of friends who bring them down. That they are unique and also have something great and beautiful to bring in the world.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Success is something you attract by the person you become” — Jim Rohn
The more you’re happy, the more you attract happiness and success.
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I discovered the Red Table Talk last year and so appreciate the realness of it and the depth of the topics discussed. This program definitely makes the world a better place.
I would love to be around that Red Table with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.