Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

Coach Profile: Miranda Wageman




People often ask how our busy coach graduates achieved success in their coaching business.

Here’s the business journey of Miranda Wageman, owner of Sum of One – Holistic Wellness Coaching for Fitness and Health.

About Miranda

My name is Miranda Wageman and I help people get out of pain and into life. 

I help people be strong, active and mobile, through gaining control of their lifestyle habits and carrying through with their goals. 

I used to be a graphic designer and I have a BA (Hons) in Chinese. These days, I am a Wellness Coach, fitness instructor and Pilates instructor. 

Getting Started in Business

In 2015, I was in the process of starting my own business and wasn't sure what to call myself or what direction to go into - I knew it had to be more than just being a PT or fitness instructor. 

I found WCA, and that was the missing link for me - it gave me an edge over other PTs, and a focus of where I wanted to go with my business. This helped me develop my business materials as well. 

Since then, I've been steadily chipping away at building my business and fine tuning my services.  
 
Initially I started my business just with exercise classes – my niche is seniors as well as Pilates (all age groups). 

I subsequently picked up a few private clients, and then a few coaching clients and secured a number of government grants in my first year. This was a great financial help as it gave me a consistent income and allowed me to set myself up with equipment. 

I engaged Melanie (from WCA) as a business coach for a number of sessions to help get clarity of what I wanted to do and how to go about it. 

My Niche

It was pretty clear from the start that my niche would be seniors. I love working with them as they are honest and are willing to work hard at improving themselves. 

When they decide to do something, they do it, and stick with it - and are willing to pay. 

They are also (sometimes brutally) honest in their feedback, which I see as a good tool to fine tune my services further. 


Having said that, I am getting more younger clients too which is interesting.

Start-up Challenges 

My initial challenges with my business were actually getting started - and believing I'm good enough to work as a coach. 

I had a lot of fears to begin with – all the usual things, like:

“what if I set up classes and no one turns up?”

“what if people don't pay?”

“what if they don't like me?”

Plus, I live in a small rural community, and competition is fierce. People don't always fight fair and it has at times been difficult to be the better person and distance myself from petty squabbling when unjust comments were publicly made. 
 
Running your own business and having to be fully dependent on yourself for the next pay cheque can feel daunting, lonely and isolating. 

How I Stay Focused

Whenever I feel flat or doubt myself, I make an action list to go through (sometimes marketing, sometimes reconnecting with people or posting information, doing research on different classes). 

This gets me out of the blues and reminds me that I must be effective, as my reputation is growing and my classes are well attended. 

I remind myself that people like coming to me, they like my style and they like my classes. 


The consistent feedback on my coaching style is that people see me as a trustworthy friend they can confide in. This is also reflected in how many people stay with me, both private and in class situations. 

Word of mouth seems to be my best friend. And always, always I make sure that I do my own workouts too and maintain my own health so I don't burn out or lose enthusiasm.

How my Business Has Grown

In the past 3 years, I've increased my classes, and also, my number of clients. 

I've been rigorous in cutting out anything that doesn't make enough money - it sounds awful, but I have to make a living out of this. 

I'm getting more enquiries, and I've recently been contracted by a large organisation to work specifically with seniors - initially running strength based programs, but they are interested in exploring my other skills (even extending to their staff) - and they are willing and able to pay. 

Typical Client Outcomes 

Because I still primarily work in the fitness industry, the main feedback I get is about increased strength, ability to continue doing ordinary things, increased energy and confidence, people enjoy my teaching and they come for the social aspect as much as the physical aspect. 

Private clients have a range of issues - post accident rehab, changing food habits. 

Typically, the clients I work with seem inspired to try more, and dare to take more risks. That is, they build self-confidence, self-efficacy and a belief in themselves that was not there before.

They realise there are different ways of looking at things, so if they are stuck, they see new options. 

I think that builds their confidence which of course affects all parts of your life. 

They seem to find their mojo again :) 
 

My 3 Biggest Lessons

The three biggest lessons I’d share with other coaches starting out are:

1. Keep going - one foot in front of the other.

2. Stay positive (you're worth it!!) and focus on all the people who think the sun shines out of your a**e :) There are usually more than you think.

3. Life is full of options and choices - if one thing doesn't work, try another. 

Final Thoughts

Thanks Miranda for providing the material for this profile. 

Having worked with Miranda in 2015/16, I wanted to finish with my perspective on how she is building a successful coaching business.

1. She brings her strengths into the development and growth of her business. 

Her persistence, resourcefulness, positive attitude and creativity have allowed her to come up with some awesome and authentic promotional strategies. 

2. She’s used bought her creativity and resourcefulness into her marketing

After Miranda identified her ideal client and elevator pitch, I noticed something switch inside her. She asked some talented people to help her develop a promotional video (you tube in the links below) and they agreed…but ended up being mostly too busy to help. So Miranda drew on her resourcefulness and created the video herself – her own music, videos and photos – and it works beautifully.

3. Miranda shares her authentic self with her clients

Miranda’s not someone who uses corporate, ‘them and us’ speak. Her authentic zest, enthusiasm and genuine compassion for people really shine through – and those things are her best marketing tools. 

4. She knows that meeting people every week is an essential part of marketing

Early on, Miranda went out and met new people each week using a structured plan. They were potential clients, potential JV’s, other practitioners, hospital staff, you name it she was there. 

When we chatted for this profile recently, it was interesting to map where her current client base came from.

There were those handful of people - clients and professional relationships - who were what I call “your Tupperware ladies”. That is, they’re very well networked, have fingers in lots of pies, and consistently tell EVERYBODY how great Miranda is.

Once you get that sort of momentum, word of mouth referral carries you through. 

To learn more about Miranda or connect with her on social media, visit:

What do you want 2016 to look like?



I was struck this morning by an article put out by Harvard Health that was aimed at helping us choose changes that would be the easiest to implement and give the biggest rewards. That’s what everyone wants don’t they?

The start of a new year is a great time to take stock of what’s going well in our lives and what could be working better and very often, the changes we want begin with habits that we have integrated into our regular routines – sometimes without apparently choosing them!  And I’m reminded how health and wellness coaching is such a wonderful area to work in as most of the changes we want relate to our lifestyle habits.  In other words, we are most unhappy about the outcomes that are the result of poor choices around nutrition, exercise and life balance.  So the Harvard Health Report highlights the following seven areas as being the best places to start:

  1. Eat healthier 
  2. Stick to exercise 
  3. Diet effectively 
  4. Nip an unhealthy habit 
  5. Harness positive psychology 
  6. Control spending 
  7. Ease stress
I was quite impressed by this list as it pretty much covers all the major areas of our wellness that can undermine the quality of our lives but I might add a qualifier to each if I were asked to do so:

  1. Eat healthier – to do this we must first work out how we are eating currently. Key points here would be – timing of meals, composition of meals as in food groups – portion sizes  and possibly whether we eat mindfully or not.
  2. Stick to exercise – this is very broad.  Perhaps “move more” would be a better aim.  Many of us spend long times sitting at a desk even though we exercise regular and perhaps intensely at certain times. I think that a variety of exercise (to prevent injury), a variety of intensities, (so we can use it to unwind at times), and more incidental activity, say every hour, is a great goal to work towards.
  3. Diet effectively  - the very word “diet” makes me cringe.  I would suggest that,  “make changes that reduce empty calorie intake” might be preferable here.
  4. Nip an unhealthy habit – we all have them.  I like the idea of choosing one thing to change and working on that.  It could have may follow on effects.
  5. Harness positive psychology – love it.  Despite what the critics say, experiencing positive emotions, changing our thinking to look for what’s working instead of what’s not working, spending time with people who nurture us and taking part in activities that engage us, are just a few of the ways to ensure our life is being lived fully.
  6. Control spending – the main message here is to have control of our lives and not feel that sudden urges for instant gratification take over and place stress on us unnecessarily.  The pleasure of working for something instead of having it and then paying for it later is worth remembering.
  7. Ease stress – to me this is the biggest problem of the modern world.  We are living in a way that exposes us to continual stress.  Slow down, be in the moment, work out what we want from life and why we want it. Then decide whether we are on track to get it or whether we are so stressed that even if we did get whatever the elusive thing is, we wouldn’t enjoy it!
Lists are great as they help us quantify and focus on a few things.  Do any of these seven points really speak to you?  Perhaps a good place to start when writing your vision for 2016.

Reference: Harvard Medical School – Healthbeat news, December 2015.

The Purpose and Pleasure Principle


Are you driven by Purpose or Pleasure?

We constantly refer to “wellness” or “wellbeing” as being something more holistic to strive towards than simply “happiness”

If we ask people what “wellness” means to them we will often hear terms such as “physical health”, “mental health” or “balance” in their response.  Let’s assume that optimal mental and physical health is a desirable state to work towards.  So how do we achieve that? 

If we look at physical health, it somehow seems easier to identify the changes we need to make.  After all, we can all tell when we are “unwell”.  Improvements in strength, fitness, flexibility and body fat levels are all frequently cited as being good areas for focus if we are to become more physically “well”

But what about mental wellness - closely aligned or some might say interchangeable with “emotional wellness”?  Now that’s more difficult to define. Apart from the more serious and debilitating mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety that so many people struggle with these days, there are less severe levels of “disquiet” or “discontent” that we might experience that are often hard to put a cause to, other than the fact that our lifestyle seems to be out of “balance”. 

So what needs to be balanced better?  A few places to look might be:

  • Time we spend at work and at home
  • Time we give to others and time for ourselves

A closer look at these two might reveal some discrepancies between what we value and what we do.  There are many ways of categorizing where our issues arrive and a common one is Work/Life balance. (Interesting that the phrase implies that Work is the opposite to Life!) So here’s another slant - Does our orientation lie closer to seeking purpose or pleasure?  I recently came across a book by Chris Skillett called “When Happiness is not Enough” in which he puts forward the idea that very often, our lack of satisfaction with life is our inability to achieve a balance between the drive for pleasure and the drive for satisfaction. Let’s look at this more closely.

The purpose versus pleasure driver

We would all agree that experiencing pleasure on one hand and then experiencing satisfaction of achievement both contribute to feelings of wellbeing.   However, an excess of one over the other can lead to problems. Striking a balance between the two is the way to achieving a fulfilling life.  Think about it.  If we lean towards seeking pleasure continually we may well be drawn to a life of excess and lifestyle problems.   However, an excessive focus on achievement will create a different type of problem typified by the over achieving individuals who burn themselves out with huge working hours and a constant feeling of pressure to go after the next goal. 

But this potential imbalance can be experienced in other areas of life. 

What will dictate which side we lean towards is our value system.  When we can identify which our biggest driver is, we will soon understand what shapes our behavior.

Ask  yourself –

  1. When considering your overall life, do you tend to value the drive to achieve or the experience of pleasure?
  2. What does “personal growth” mean to you?  Is it about “knowing yourself better” or striving to be a better person.

We are often obliged to make decisions based on this balance between pleasure and achievement and we will find that we have a preferred style.

Consider these four lifestyles:

  1. The driven lifestyle – high achievement, low pleasure
  2. The stagnant lifestyle – low achievement, low pleasure
  3. The indulgent lifestyle – low achievement, high pleasure
  4. The fulfilled lifestyle – high achievement, high pleasure

Various stages of our life may steer us more towards one of the quadrants listed above more than the other. When we are younger the need to achieve may be more important - to set ourselves up and create a place in society.  As we age, our focus may shift towards enjoying the moment and the simple daily pleasures of life.

Ideally we will have balance of both of these in our leisure, our work and our relationships.  It is also easy to see how incompatibility issues may arise if we choose to share our lives with someone who has a very different driver from us.  The weekends may involve a constant battle between the desire of one, to “get things done” and the other “to relax and chill out”.  Sound familiar?

A workplace can also be geared more towards one than the other.  Does your organisation focus purely on KPI’s and achieving goals, or does the happiness and enjoyment factor of its employees figure into the equation?  Different industries may require different focus and different leaders may create different environments to suit their drive.

The important thing is to recognize how the two drivers influence our life at any time and to attempt to find a balance that works for us at any given point in time.   If we feel that our “wellness” is not at its best, perhaps a quick review of whether we are experiencing enough pleasure and satisfaction in all areas of our life would be a good place to start fixing things.  



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