No, that’s not a typo. It’s my extreme effort to get you to pick ONE Thing
when starting your freelance work in fitness, health and wellness and not to be like I was.
Now understand this – I am speaking about me in this post… NOT you. If you can relate to my uncalculated risks and reckless adventures, great, I hope you get a take away… but remember I am writing about me.
This metaphor about The Conslutant…appeals to the side of desperation and low-level tactics I used to get paid and more.
You need to acknowledge, identify and if possible avoid this behavior. It’s also me trying to get you to join our Recycled Nurse Movement (opt-in) and start recycling your life skills for extra money/freelance work and start out right, “Start out how you want to end up!” (As my Nana always said)
So, let’s begin my plight (Even though this is real, it’s o.k. to laugh. Actually I hope you do)…
That’s who I was… a Conslutant. Not a ConSULTant… A ConSLUTant.
Don’t be like me. Don’t do what I did,
I was a whore.
A whore will repeatedly do anything for money. Will have a service for anybody.
This is just some of what I did…
- Let’s get this right off the table – I was a “certification whore”. If you are starting to feel a bit of offense coming up in you – just know, I would get certified from the back of a cereal box, if needed, back in the day (the 80’s) – You may never do that… therefore you’re probably not a “certification whore” like me… so rest assured and enjoy my plight…
At one point, I had about 8 or 9 fitness certifications and maybe 3 in nursing. From back of magazine to weekend programs to online programs and all kinds of schools. I recognize the importance of “knowing your shit” and having a validation.
Hell, I used to teach and travel on weekends (Friday-Sunday), certifying personal trainers, so I can appreciate accomplishing something… but I was a whore with it. Today guess how many I have?
None. Nada. Zero.
Do I still have that knowledge? Of course I do. But I didn’t need sooo many “certs”. Do you really? Are you making more money because of them? Are you more confident because you have them? At the time it seems right.
Crystal balls and unicorns… I wish they were real.
Obtaining some of the “certs” actually caused unwanted stress and grief with my health and in personal relationships too.
You know if you might be going down this garden path to getting certified in everything when:
You run into someone you used to know and hasn’t seen you for a while – asks you,
“You do what again?”
and you freeze and “pick one” of your “certs” in your mind.
Then blurt out something that sounds questionable. Like a fusion of 2 or more certs, “I’m a ‘doula-Yoga-lates Instructor Coach’ and I supervise in the ER , sometimes”. Then you try to explain yourself. This sounds painful doesn’t it? I know because I used to do this.
Does this happen to you, ever? No?
Well, like I said, this is about me.
- I’d chase people and even wait for prospects on the street or parking lot and approach them with an offer. When they refused, I’d lower my price and my morals and offer another trick.
- I’d have 7 or more different business cards at one time; one for every position/fantasy title I could be or do. I even made up some of my initials, meaning they meant something to me… only. It was like I was some sort of Secret or Double Agent.
Someone would ask me in an elevator, at a conference, “So, who are you?” I would answer, “So who do you want me to be?”
OR “So, what do you do?” and I would answer, “I’m a conslutant, what are you looking for? I can do it all.”
- When asked how much were my services, I would say, I charge by the hour. But I also do 1/2 hour rates.
If the prospect showed less interest than I hoped, I’d suddenly have a one-time-only special offer and say “I have a special and I can charge by the 1/4 hour. Everybody has 15 minutes, right?”.If I didn’t hear from the prospect in a day, I would call them and say,
“I do group rates too… yes, group rates for a 1/4 hour and yes, I can come there on a Friday afternoon on the weekend of the 4th of July”.
(sound like a whore yet?)
- I’d respond back to everybody and anybody who showed me any interest at all. This could be on social media and on phone calls. I pre-qualified no one. Basically you just had to be human and able to “possibly” pay. ‘Cause many times I didn’t get paid.
- I’d go to networking events and fling my business cards at anyone within 4 feet of me.
- I’d eat “dinner” at hotel meetings. After sleeping 40 minutes in my car, I’d spruce myself up run into the ladies room and emerge like a predator, a “catwoman”. I was like a well-seasoned ferrell cat and I hadn’t eaten since 11:00 (it’s now 7:00pm) because I was Intermittently Fasting. I chose this time to IF because funds were low.
I walked into several rooms setting up and there it was… farm-raised SHRIMP! JACKPOT! This kitty was very happy and I’d smile casually, walked over to the “spread” and taste a few shrimp and then take a 2 handfuls and put in my tote bag. (My mom’s friends on the senior bus trips to Atlantic City taught me well.) Calm down, I only took enough for my dinner that’s all.
You never put a piece of food in your bag from a buffet? (I’ll write something funny about “buffets” another time)
- On the computer, I would see that someone had an idea that brought them in some money, I’d buy it and then copy it… my attempts to replicate their success was demoralizing. I did all this work to be like someone else and I never got a call back. (womp, womp)
- Over the years, I’d offer every service/program ever thought of in fitness & health for everybody and anybody. I learned that from the hospital health resource department that I worked for. We offered a hundred choices for their (the community’s) selection.
- Here’s an example below of a hospital health resource dept. nutrition programs. We did health education programs in the community. I worked for them and got a lot of whore training here, about 13 years worth. This was just the nutrition programs! The fitness programs I did were about half of this.
This list serves absolutely everybody… and some animals and space aliens.
Remember hospitals have large marketing budgets. You and I don’t. It is foolish to think you can serve what a large hospital system can, even if you have the “knowledge” in all of those topics.
One of the biggest mistakes I see nurses who want to do freelance work in fitness/health make is they want to work with anybody which is everybody.
For example I just got an email the other day from a nurse, with a great history of skills and experience, said she wanted to do fitness and health improvement work with pre-teens, busy moms and some men. That’s just about everybody right? How do you find these people and position yourself around that market? How can you provide a ass-kicking result with very different wants and needs of these 3 groups?
I don’t even want to discuss the broadness of “fitness” and “health improvement”.
In her defense, we never spoke to each other on the phone.
But I can almost tell by what she wrote, she’s headed down that road of “slutdom” in her marketing efforts and getting attention. Again, “Start out how you want to end up!”
I know it’s challenging because I did the same thing. That’s what got me started down the road of becoming a slut. A Conslutant. Being all things to all people. Before ‘Minky’, “cheap & easy” were my middle name.
I’m sure many of you are quite well versed in many topics in fitness, health and wellness. If you don’t learn to become the best in one area and position yourself to those people in that area, that expertise you have, will get “lost in the sauce”.
For example, I read a story about an allergy clinic who could handle all kinds of allergies and wanted to expand their reach. But they weren’t getting the traction that they wanted with their community. Once they got insight from someone smart, they focused (their USP) on just nut allergies (not even food allergies) but nut allergies and mothers of young children.
Their visibility went up. Word of mouth was great and sales improved. AND they still treated other people with hay fever and other allergies too.
How NOT to be a Conslutant:
- Decide you want to recycle some skills you have and put a program together in the fitness, health & wellness space. This program should be able to be duplicated for the prospective client’s benefit not your benefit.
- Know your service or product by picking one thing. “Wear it well”, be proud. It’s not for everybody. Tell people who it’s for!
If you don’t have a service or product yet, but you want to develop one, make sure you’ve tried the process on yourself exactly how you would propose others do it.
I believe in anecdotal stories and passion, it’s what drives us. But you need a way to pull it together, get specific and expect certain benefits (outcomes). If you feel you need more fitness training I like NESTA , but you may not need it. Think Richard Simmons and Susan Powter (blonde with spiked-hair, Google her)
- So, you’re not all over the place like manure in a garden (my mom used to say that about me; it was her way of saying, “you’re a -)”,
you should answer this – What are you trying to accomplish?
I like this question. Has some vision to it. Then, once in a while, maybe add… “now” after accomplish.
Well, recycling skills and life experiences take time. It’s definitely a process. But there’s no reason you can’t make money along the way. That’s how it’s done or why do it? Earn & Learn or Learn & Earn and Live and Learn, I love those.
All of this comes down to finding your USP. (Unique Selling Proposition)
You can’t be authentic and confident in what you do without it. You can’t build a brand without it.
Without USP – You can’t answer the “How” in these very important questions for you –
“What is your immediate goal?”
“To make money or to get visibility?”
They may crossover on your path, but they are different when you start creating your freelance work project and in your day-to-day actions.
Early on, I combined both, this was a mistake.
I ended up being “visible at the moment” and made some cash, then “poof” I was invisible again. Nobody wants to be associated with a networking desperado doing the “walk of shame” afterwards.
Now, I know better. These 2 outcomes are different especially when “need” is involved. The things needed to do to make money were different than things needed to do to get visibility.
Even though it may take time, don’t do what I did and spend years “busting your ass” solving “everybody’s” problem that they didn’t know they had.
When you’re ready to join and recycle yourself, avoid slutty business behavior, laugh, let me know, I can surely tell you what not to do.
loriradcliffecfn at gmail dot com
P.S. I can also tell you what to do too. Here’s a little cheat list:
- What you do
- How you do it
- Benefit it has
If you knew your USP, answering these seemingly simple questions, would be seemingly simple.