Julie Ciardi: “Go the extra mile by over-delivering”

Go the extra mile by over-delivering. I don’t mean give your services away, but truly care about the results your clients want. Care for them. Go above and beyond. We acknowledge birthdays, send gifts for big occasions, give bonus trainings etc. The ripple effect is amazing. You work hard to win a client, be sure […]

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Go the extra mile by over-delivering. I don’t mean give your services away, but truly care about the results your clients want. Care for them. Go above and beyond. We acknowledge birthdays, send gifts for big occasions, give bonus trainings etc. The ripple effect is amazing. You work hard to win a client, be sure to convert them into a fan for life. We also have a referral bonus program for clients to refer to us. We love to reward our clients and pay out $1000s a month back to them!

The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, not everyone who starts a coaching business sees success. What does someone starting a career as a life coach, wellness coach, or business coach need to know to turn it into a very successful and rewarding career?

In this interview series, called “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach” we are interviewing experienced and successful life coaches, wellness coaches, fitness coaches, business and executive coaches and other forms of coaches who share the strategies you need to create a successful career as a life or business coach.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Julie Ciardi.

Julie is a former Fortune 500 Marketing VP turned multi-passionate entrepreneur and certified results coach. She is on a mission to help women break the paradigm of “should” and pursue the life, dreams and purpose inside of themselves!

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and what brought you to this particular career path?

I had a 15+ year career as a Marketing VP at a Fortune 500 company working the daily 9am-5pm grind. About 4 years ago, I decided I wanted more and worked to build my first business, a brick and mortar boutique for women. I loved building my brand and launching my different businesses, and other women kept asking me how I did it. I started to see other women wanting help building the same thing for themselves. I leaned back into the gifts I developed in my corporate days — being a business leader and helping to lead people into building new businesses — and decided to help other women create bigger businesses. Since then this passion has grown to help women create any type of result in their life whether that be in business, health and wellness, or in their relationships, and live a life by design.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I would say the first would be to develop persistence. You have to be willing to do what it takes for as long as it takes. Building a business and helping to create results for others does not happen overnight, and you don’t always get it right on the first try, but you have to keep going. It was a series of taking action consistently over time, and not giving up, that got me to this point. There were times in my journey after leaving corporate that my husband would ask me when I was going to be making the same money I was in my corporate job, but I was persistent and knew I had to keep going with conviction and desire. Another characteristic is compassion. I truly care about my clients and prospective clients. If you’re not caring about your clients and their results, you won’t be successful in entrepreneurship. I would also say a key characteristic in being a successful coach is confidence in your gifts and abilities. For a lot of people this is built over time by taking imperfect action over and over again.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Habits have played a huge role in my success. Our habits create our results. Early on in my coaching journey, I developed a habit of a morning routine since it has always been so critical for me to start with my mind in the right place. I started getting up an hour earlier than my family, and getting quiet before the day began. Every morning I write out my goals as if they have already happened, and I get into that headspace. Also as a coach, we should always be continuing to master our craft, so I love this morning quiet time and use it to study, whether it be reading a book, a course, or working on my own methods.

This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Habits are part of our subconscious mind. The part of our brain that dictates our programming and behavior. It is so important to create good habits because they will become part of who we are and drive our actions to meet our goals. Think about New Year’s Resolutions. They are essentially goals, right? They always start out strong, but after a few weeks what happens? Most people seem to quit. Why? Because although we have good intentions of meeting our goals, we have not changed our habits and programming in order to stick it out. We revert back to autopilot and our old ways. Our habitual thinking is what causes our habitual behavior. Our habitual behavior causes our results. We must go to the source when we want to truly change our habits — our thinking. The way we think most often.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I have one word for this, and I practice this myself, and I teach it to my clients. Repetition. As I mentioned earlier, habits come from your subconscious mind, your programming and you have to work on changing your programming in order to change your habits. This can only happen from repetition. Repeatedly taking action over and over again until it becomes your new way of thinking. The thing about your subconscious is that it’s like the earth. You can plant a rose, or you can plant poison ivy. The earth doesn’t know the difference, so you have to be careful with what you’re planting. The same can be said for your mind. In order to stop bad habits, you have to be very aware of the information you’re consuming so you’re not watering the poison ivy. I learned from my mentor that I should embrace reading and studying the same material, the same books, over and over again. This seemed illogical, but it is game changing to truly bridge the knowing — doing gap.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

There are so many but the one that stands out is Teddy Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena. My dad had shared that quote with me when I was in high school, and it stuck with me forever. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it’s what you think of yourself, it’s you living your life that matters. You are the man in the arena. I had the quote printed and I placed it on my frame to place in my cubicle at my very first job when I was 22.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am on a mission to help change the motherhood paradigm around the world. Women, especially mothers, have given up their goals and dreams and are in a prison of shoulds. I want to help women realize that if they put themselves first, they work on developing what it is they want and growing into the woman who has that goal achieved, the entire world will begin to change. I have a big vision, and we are starting with the 100s of women we have as clients and the 1000s who follow what we share. I call it IGNITE Her Mind and I am thrilled to be making this vision a reality!

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Many coaches are successful, but some are not very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful coaches from unsuccessful ones? What are your “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

First, you need to be working on your inner personal growth as much as you’re working on your business. People are so quick to go to how to grow your business versus who do I need to be to be a successful coach. The second one would be having a mastermind community you can lean into for support. You cannot build a successful coaching business alone. Your mastermind will most likely not be your friends and family as you want to surround yourself with other humans that are growing business. You absolutely have to have that support. The third is consistency. You must work the business side consistently over time, or it’s not going to grow. Since I work with other entrepreneurs, I see the biggest mistake they make is starting and stopping and starting and stopping. In this thriving online market that we’re in, those that don’t stay consistent will lose. Patience is massive. The fourth thing someone needs is patience. Everyone thinks that things happen faster than they will. Growing a coaching business looks like a hockey stick. Most of the time you’re putting in a lot of work, but your growth still looks like a flat line. When you put in the time and have patience, you can hit that curve in the stick and shoot up. People stop before they hit that breakthrough. Lastly, you have to have a burning desire. Too many people get into a business that they don’t really have passion for. You have to have a burning desire in your heart for what you’re trying to create and for your clients. If you don’t you won’t be able to stay persistent, consistent and hold on to that patience.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen coaches make when they start their business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

A big mistake I see is lack of clarity. A lot of coaches try to help too many people without niching down far enough to find their ideal client, and try too many strategies at once hoping that one thing will stick. I teach to implement doing one thing really well instead of ten things halfway. Another mistake I see is that people are continuously looking for the faster solution as opposed to doing the work and implementing the same strategy over and over again to see results. Another common mistake I’ve noticed is not having a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Based on your experience and success, what are a few of the most important things a coach should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience? Please share a story or an example for each.

Go the extra mile by over-delivering. I don’t mean give your services away, but truly care about the results your clients want. Care for them. Go above and beyond. We acknowledge birthdays, send gifts for big occasions, give bonus trainings etc. The ripple effect is amazing. You work hard to win a client, be sure to convert them into a fan for life. We also have a referral bonus program for clients to refer to us. We love to reward our clients and pay out $1000s a month back to them!

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and particularly in coaching. What are the best ways for a coach to find customers? Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

I mentioned earlier how important it is to niche down and really be intentional about who you want to serve and who you want to help. I teach my clients that a lot of the time, your ideal client is a previous version of yourself. Why? Because who knows you better than you know yourself? When that clicks for you, who your ideal person is, the marketing and the content seems to just flow effortlessly because it’s like you’re talking to yourself and you’re just attracting your person to want to work with you. The aspect of this that I always try to remember is that the process isn’t linear. You really have to work to develop a relationship with your prospective clients.

Coaches are similar to startup founders who often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to end up burning the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to your fellow coaches about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting their business?

You have to set boundaries. I worked for a Fortune 500 as a VP of marketing and I worked more hours then than now. In the beginning of starting my business I put in more hours, but I knew what I wanted life to look like. I knew I wanted to have meetings Tuesdays through Thursdays and keep Mondays and Fridays open for content creation, flex time, etc. The key is to have an image in your mind of what you want life to look like and build your business ultimately around that.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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 truly believe that if women can put their own oxygen mask on first, the ripple effect would be huge! As I mentioned above, my mission is to help women realize that if they can help themselves first, and change their own way of thinking to achieve the results they want in their lives, all of that growth will begin to affect their entire family. I see it in my own family and the families of my clients, and I can’t wait to help more women achieve this.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

100% Tom Brady. Not for the obvious reasons. I am a huge Patriots and TB 12 fan, but also not why. I love to learn from successful people that used persistence, desire, faith, visualization, and mastery to get where they are. I tell his story often to my female clients. I share his journey and that after all this time still works with a coach on his technique to release the football faster. There are no overnight successes, but there are overnight breakthroughs after years of persistence, desire, and vision. I would love to talk about that with him!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can follow me on Instagram at @julieciardi, listen to my IGNITE Her Mind Podcast wherever they stream podcasts, or visit my website at julieciardi.com to learn more about me and how to work with me.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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