Selena Willows

Join us for an inspiring conversation with Selena, the founder of a transformative swim instruction program!
In this episode, we discuss how her unique approach helps kids and parents overcome their fears, the power of local business, and the importance of mindset in overcoming challenges as an entrepreneur.
Don’t miss out on this incredible journey towards conquering fear and making a difference!
selena willows

About the Guest

Selena has over 27 years experience coaching children in high fear sports. She began coaching gymnastics at the age of 14 and went on to teach children to swim as well.

In the course of her time as a coach she has spent over ten years consulting with competitive coaches and swim instructors, building swim curriculums for community pools & private aquatic facilities, developing and administering cold water survival training for the Canadian military, and helping train some of Montreal’s finest in the water.

Combined with her own experience with childhood trauma and recovery; Selena developed a revolutionary way of teaching children to swim and self-rescue in as little as two weeks that focuses on overcoming fears and insecurities and takes into account developmental milestones and emotional wellbeing while instilling in children a sense of learning their own limits in the water.


Instagram  →
Facebook  →


Simon Sinek



Audra Carpenter


Selena Willows


CJ Carpenter



zindolabs -

Community, Content & Courses

Find the support you need to launch, grow and scale your business online.


Episode Transcript

*What follows is an AI-generated transcript may not be 100% accurate. 


[00:00:00] Audra: All right. Good morning and welcome to the show today. I’ve got Selena with me, and I’m excited to get into the conversation of what we are gonna talk about. She’s in a little different industry, which is neat to hear about. I talk to a lot of business owners that are just marketing online and not a lot of brick and mortars or even things outside of doing something online.

[00:00:22] So it’ll be a good conversation and how the mess in the middle fits in your world. So welcome to the show. Thank you.

[00:00:29] Selena: Thank you. I’m so glad to be here.

[00:00:32] Audra: So why don’t we take a couple minutes to let the audience know who you are, where you hail from, all that kind of good stuff.

[00:00:39] Selena: Okay, sounds good. I’m Selena as you said, and, I grew up in Montreal, but I’m currently living in Ottawa.

[00:00:46] And what do I do? I do something very different. I, so I teach swimming lessons. is the umbrella. Of it. However, what I truly do is I teach parents how to help their children overcome fear. Now I do that in the guise of the water, but that is truly what we do. And it’s an interesting, it’s an interesting mess because I do it both in person and online.

[00:01:12] And, I teach children directly and I teach the parents.

[00:01:16] Audra: Okay. There’s, that’s a lot. How, that’s a lot to unpack. How long have you been doing it?

[00:01:20] Selena: I have been coaching children since I was 14 and in, in high fear sports. swimming in gymnastics actually. both recreational and competitive.

[00:01:30] And teaching parents in my own business has been the last eight years or so, and teaching parents has been the last. Wow.

[00:01:39] Audra: Okay. [00:01:40] So see you guys. You never know where you can carve out some, actual viable business through different kinds of things that you love and different industries that you may not think would be, actual business.

[00:01:52] That’s awesome. So talk a little bit about the journey of where you’re at now and how that’s evolved. Because you said, the important thing that you said, it’s not so much the, you teach swim lessons or you teach,how to navigate the water and feel safe there, but dealing with fear around that, that’s such a psychological trigger and it ties to so many different things in our life.

[00:02:16] How did you get to that place that’s really what you’re solving?

[00:02:20] Selena: So it began with my own children actually. Okay. As I think many of our businesses do, as we switchSpots in life, we realize that there are things that we haven’t overcome or things that we need to learn.

[00:02:33] and this was frankly,a gift from my son, in a very unusual way. And I do see it as a gift now. but at the time I did not, at 18 months, he had a non-fatal drowning incident. here, nearly drowned. Yeah. And it was very difficult, obviously. and as a result of that, my little water baby, who loved the water beforehand, wouldn’t even allow me to wash his hair.

[00:02:56] It became night and day. Yeah. He had night terrors for six months and he was inconsolable the second the bath was running, the second there was a water around. it was a no. And as a former swim instructor, someone who was in water safety since the age of 14, and having had those wonderful moments in the water with him prior to this, I needed to find a way back to [00:03:20] that.

[00:03:20] And so here I am. I found it.

[00:03:23] Audra: So many of our businesses are shaped out of either some kind of crisis in our life, a problem that we ran into. if you talk to people in the health and fitness industry or food industry, most of them came to that because they had their own challenge, or somebody in their family had the challenge and they couldn’t find a solution for it.

[00:03:42] So they decided to create it.

[00:03:45] Selena: Yeah. Yep. And that’s exactly what happened. They couldn’t find a solution out there. Yeah. And decided that I wasn’t gonna give up, and so I decided to create the solution and

[00:03:55] Audra: be the solution. Okay. So how did you decide, this is gonna be a business for me? I didn’t,

[00:04:01] Selena: it happened to me.

[00:04:04] It took on a life of its own. And What happened was that once I had figured it out with my son, I had a friend Who had a little one who was also quite afraid of the water. not as not a trauma. Per se, but just a fear. And she said, would you like to try it with mine? And I looked at her and I said, II can.

[00:04:21] It’s, he’ll be a Guinea pig, but I can try. And so we did. And I followed the same process as I did with my son. Little tweaks, because children are always a little bit different. Yes. They’re having that much, practice with children. I was able to make adjustments to his personality, but I tried it with him and it worked.

[00:04:40] And she posted all over social media. She’s one of those people that just post on social media. all the time. And so she posted all over social media, every practice she was posting, and the next thing I knew, her friends were calling me. Wow. And the word of mouth just spread like wildfire. within a year, I had more students than I could keep up with.

[00:04:59] And so I [00:05:00] had a wait list.

[00:05:02] Audra: That’s a good problem to have. It’s

[00:05:04] Selena: a very good problem to have, except that my time is very limited. As all as is all of our time. And so I taught like that for quite some time with a wait list like that. And then around year two of the business, the end of year two of the business, I had parents begging me to talk them through the process over the phone.

[00:05:21] And so I started doing that and the next thing I knew, all my time was spent either in the water or on the phone. Wow. Which was, again, no longer feasible. and so from there became the virtual product where Okay. Course, that takes parents through the process and walks them through all of the communication model and everything we use for the fear-based stuff.

[00:05:45] Audra: So how did, what happened during Covid? what did the model look like since you couldn’t be in the pool, you couldn’t be close to people, would you? Yeah. Wait that

[00:05:54] Selena: out. Very lucky. I was very lucky with Covid, I have to say. because I don’t have a brick and mortar, the way that I teach my lessons in person, my instructor-led lessons, I call them, is I actually borrow backyard pools.

[00:06:08] Okay. And so I have exchange one-on-one with a person who has a pool and is looking for lessons for their child. And we trade and I teach their children for free and they lend me the pool for four hours. So the only thing that really changed during covid was instead of doing group lessons, we were doing three students to one instructor for 30 minutes.

[00:06:27] Okay. We split them up and we started doing 10 minutes per child. Now that first year was 10 minutes for child and it was tight. It was tight cuz I had booked everybody in three minute slots. and I split those up and since then we’ve [00:06:40] actually not reverted back at all. We’ve kept to one-on-one because it’s faster and it’s less stressful for the instructor and it’s, It’s. Better design for each child that way. Okay. And, we’ve just enhanced them to be 15 minutes. So I only spend about 10 minutes of time in the water still with the child, but I have that five minutes of buffer in and out. Okay. And it turned out to be a blessing and so we’re still doing it that way.

[00:07:05] Audra: Okay. Awesome. Now, do you have other coaches or other swim instructors besides yourself? So

[00:07:12] Selena: I have, I have two in training currently. Okay. And I did have one previously who unfortunately wasn’t able to stay.

[00:07:20] Audra: so Covid wasn’t actually a detriment to your business. Did you find that moving into a digital product? what was the evolution? Where’d that come from? So that

[00:07:32] Selena: came because I was on the phone all the time.

[00:07:35] Okay. I had enough parents asking for the information, that I decided that it would be easier for everybody involved. If I put out the steps as I do them, as I have them now, I’m very lucky that I have, a sister who is in education. Okay. My whole family is actually in education and safety and security.

[00:07:55] And my sister is actually a courseware developer for a big company. Perfect. And so she has that educational background and so she actually helped me break down the pieces of it. So it was all in head, Something. So she help most of us Yeah. Yeah. And put them in order and reassemble them so that they made sense.

[00:08:13] And, yeah. The transition was a little bit difficult and still I find sometimes,trying to explain to parents that they can do [00:08:20] this themselves, right? We have, I think, a lot of uncertainty as parents and a lot of fear. And, showing parents that they’re capable of doing this And that they shouldn’t be underestimating themselves, and that they can, they too can overcome their fear of doing this. Has the biggest obstacle I’d say. So

[00:08:35] Audra: walk me through your model online. What does that look like? So now that it’s,it’s virtual, you can literally sell to anybody in the country or anybody in the world.

[00:08:44] Yes, correct. Okay. So what is that? How did you, besides kind of the education, what is your, what are you selling?

[00:08:53] Selena: Yeah. So how does it, how is it packaged? What does it look like? Is that yeah. So it’s a lifetime access, lifetime access, single payment, and you’re done for life. and the reason we did it that way, I’ve had people try to talk me into a membership program and all of this.

[00:09:06] But the reason we’ve done it this way is that Children are expensive as it is, and this is a lifesaving skill. This is, to me, a non-negotiable. Children need to learn to swim. And so I want to be able to offer it in such a way that parents who have multiple children don’t have to then be dispersing again.

[00:09:21] Okay. And so we’re charged by the family, not by children. And lifetime access, because if you have one now that you wanna teach, you may be pregnant with another You can still stay in. And then the support as well is all lifetime access. So we have an online group, a private group as many e-courses or virtual courses have.

[00:09:40] And then we have q and a calls monthly with me and, eventually some of my trained staff, but right now me and where we get everybody’s questions answered, and then from there, sometimes children are a little bit different. So sometimes if we have to decide on a new approach Yeah, take a different Path, then we do that on those calls.

[00:09:58] Audra: Yeah. Do you find [00:10:00] that you’ve had to be ultra flexible in the direction that you’re going? Or have you been able to say, this is where I’m headed, and just work your way that direction?

[00:10:15] Selena: I’ve had to be quite flexible. I’d like to say that I haven’t been because I’m very stubborn.

[00:10:21] However, yeah. However, there have been quite a few moments on this path where I’ve thought, oh wait, no, this is not how this is go. This is not gonna work this way. And I’ve had to change trajectories. I did at the beginning have the course as, as a high ticket sale.

[00:10:35] and I decided to take that completely outta there. and never really felt in alignment. But of course, all these coaching packages out there want you to sell these high ticket things. Yeah. That was, it wasn’t me, but I did try it like that Yeah. For some time, because that was the way, and learning to listen to myself was a big part of it too.

[00:10:54] Good. It didn’t sit out with me to sell it as a high ticket, but I went with it because that’s what I was being taught. Yeah, so there’ve been some back and forths with, what feels right versus what’s gonna work in the market and kind of learning And adjusting for my own soul as we went.

[00:11:09] Audra: Good. How do you find customers now?

[00:11:13] Selena: Most of my customers are still word of mouth. yeah. I find with parents, word of mouth tends to be the thing. So much more powerful. Yeah. It’s so much more powerful than anything else. I do have, the requisite workshop or webinar and lead magnet out and, it fills my email list.

[00:11:31] But ultimately what I find is that most of my clients know somebody

[00:11:36] Audra: that has been through the program. Yeah. How long, so [00:11:40] the program is lifetime. How long does it typically take to get a child through it.

[00:11:45] Selena: So it depends how consistent you are. Okay. As a parent, if you decide that you are going to get in the water every day with your child and do these 10 minutes practices every single day, we’ve seen children swimming within a week and completing the program within two.

[00:11:58] Okay. Yeah. So the program is swim, turn, return to safety and self rescue if they fall in. And so we’ve seen children complete the program in two weeks. Like we’ve seen parents start the program and then stop and then take a vacation time and walk back in, in Mexico and and their children get through it as well.

[00:12:18] you know what I really like about it is because we spend so much time online, businesses think that has to be the leader of generating sales or leader of building a brand or launching products and services. And you’ve just proven it’s not now you’ve been doing it a while, so you got in before it was pre, where everything was selling online.

[00:12:42] Audra: But at the same time, it’s still very valuable to see that. Start local. If you’ve got a product that you can sell locally to your community, your neighbors parents to start there because those people can see you, they can get to build a relationship with you and start to trust you. the online thing is just to our expand our reach.

[00:13:05] But if you’ve got something that you can actually sell locally, do it. I think people forget that is a still a thing, that we can still sell people locally and we put so much emphasis. Here’s the other side of that. [00:13:20] There’s a hundred times a competition when you’re only marketing online and not taking, advantage of the opportunity offline.

[00:13:29] When you’re offline, you’ve just removed so much of that loud noise that if you get in front of somebody that can actually use your product, you have a much better chance of making that sale. And I think we forget that cuz we do spend so much time online,

[00:13:44] Selena: Thank you for that. because I think I forgot that.

[00:13:47] Audra: Oh really?

[00:13:48] Selena: We forgot that a little bit. yeah. As I’ve been trying to grow this virtual side of my business. Yeah. I actually see it as two separate components. It is. And it is, but at the same time it’s not. Because it’s, yeah. and, yeah. So thank you for that actually, that’s Yeah.

[00:14:03] On that one.

[00:14:04] Audra: Yeah. and there’s also, lots of little upsells that you can do to get the people that have been through the program to refer people, and lots of opportunity like that. So where’s the business gonna head? So how do you, are you growing it? Are you just good worth what you built?

[00:14:21] What does that look like for you? So

[00:14:24] Selena: I am a. Growth mindset kind of person, which means that I’m always going to be growing, I’m always gonna be looking for the next expand for this business. Right now, the plan is to offer the course as a certifying, body. So we want to serve okay instructors elsewhere, in order to help them bring this program to their communities.

[00:14:47] Audra: Good. That’s great. That’s great. You know who be another ideal client for you is all the local, little city pools. Yes. Yeah. the community pools, the [00:15:00] ones I know, at least from the kind of the middle of the state down, hit Memorial weekend, the pool opens and then it closes on Labor Day.

[00:15:08] And those folks, many of those kids do not have access to somebody to teach them how to swim, let alone a pool other than the community free ones that are available during those three and a half months or whatever.

[00:15:21] Selena: Yeah, absolutely. So those are in the target for later. Good. We’re focusing on small independent instructors.

[00:15:27] And the reason we’re doing that is many of these big city pools have established programs with large certifying bodies already. Okay. And the, a lot of it is the structure and the manner those certifying bodies in And, and the competition that creates with them. Okay.

[00:15:42] Cause they have programs for the age groups that I work in. Now my opinion is they’re not nearly as effective as my program, but. These are programs that have been used for years and years and years. And we’re talking almost a century now.

[00:15:53] Audra: Yeah. I think my kids got certified when they were little at the Y M C A.

[00:15:57] Yep. So was

[00:15:59] Selena: the Red Cross and Olympic Way are all very big programs, and most instructors are trained in that, in that avenue, right? With that same type of method, the, The little things that might be different. but this is a, what I do is such an overhaul on that. It’s a completely different method of teaching, and so I do plan to get into those city pools, but Right.

[00:16:19] I do feel that there’s some establishment that I need to do first. Yeah. yeah. Dependent instructors that I’ll be, that I am training.

[00:16:28] Audra: That’s great. What would you say has been some of the, so the podcast being about the mess in the middle, what are some of the opportunities, see, I call ’em opportunities, not challenges, [00:16:40] but what are some of those that have come up for you over the years that have either challenged you or made you think about doing something else?

[00:16:49] if at all. Yeah.

[00:16:51] Selena: I would say that seasonally probably two to three times a year I go through a, why am I doing this? Yeah. it’s,call it fear, call it exhaustion, call it whatever you want, like anybody and like any entrepreneur, I’ve hit those walls where I of look at it all and.

[00:17:05] This isn’t working, what am I gonna do now? How do I fix it? How do I change it? Do I need to pivot? Do I need to push through? Do I need to, you know,and in those moments, certainly I’ve had times where I’m ready to up and out, just be done with it, I’m very lucky with my support network, and that is being a very pushing force.

[00:17:25] my, I have, I have one particular family member who likes to send me, likes to send me news articles every time children drown. It’s, her particular way of motivating me, and I have to say, it sounds really harsh, but this person knows me quite well and knows that this works for me, right?

[00:17:41] Because it comes and gets me exactly where I need to be In order to push me through whatever I’m feeling so that I can think about others. And ultimately, that is what this business about for me, is so that children don’t have to be afraid because that fear that the sun’s sustained.

[00:17:55] In that moment and the fear that he carried with him afterwards, though we’ve gotten through the swimming, it has affected his life. He’s 13 now and he does still have fears around things that, that, I believe come from that big terrifying moment when he was little, yeah, we’ve been through a rebrand and that was very difficult.

[00:18:14] I had a lot of, I’m not doing it moments, I’m not doing [00:18:20] okay, move. The first time I started this business, we were living in Los Angeles and I did four years there establishing my client base, and then the run got pulled out from under us and we moved. And so I had to start all over here and this is shorter and, the market is different and so relearning what the market would sustain Remaking those connections and getting my pools in order and all of that stuff, Yeah, every time you’re looking at restarting any little bit of it. Nothing kills a business more than rework. And that just unfortunately happens sometimes. Yeah.

[00:18:54] Audra: Yeah. you know what though?

[00:18:55] The good takeaway from that is you’ve learned how to build a business properly. Yes. Many people are, one hit wonders, so maybe they got the right product at the right time and sell millions of it, and then the fad or whatever, wears off of it. And then they have miss after miss.

[00:19:14] A lot of times it’s just because they didn’t figure out how to build the business properly to begin with. They just got lucky. They timed the market right. And without going back and going back to the fundamentals of, okay, why was that business successful? If you remove the,

[00:19:30] nuances of why it went viral or why it got picked up. Was there a solid business underneath it to begin with? And if there wasn’t, it’s pretty hard to duplicate. you’ll see a lot of people, they never made it past that one and just keep trying to sell different kinds of widgets and it doesn’t work.

[00:19:49] Yeah. Yeah. So that’s good though. So no matter where you live, you know how to rebuild it if you have to. We do. I do. That’s good. Yeah. Yep. Now. [00:20:00] So with that being said, I think there’s, some important takeaways there that no matter how much you’re growing or how much change is happening and it’s evolving, you still run into that mindset issue, which I think is such a huge component of being self-employed.

[00:20:17] And we don’t give it as much energy as we should. We give it negative energy, what’s wrong with us? Why isn’t our product selling? We suck, we should go get a job. But we don’t give it the proper attention. Like, why am I feeling like this? Is there something that I can change as far as my behavior or certain action I can take to prevent, to move me through it?

[00:20:41] because they’re gonna happen. How many years did you say you’ve been doing it? Eight years. We’re

[00:20:45] Selena: in our, we’re going into our eighth season. Yep.

[00:20:49] Audra: So in eight years, I imagine there’s been some of this right up and down and in and out and what we, one, we need to go back to our Simon Sinek of our why, of why we’re doing what we’re doing.

[00:21:03] That seems to anchor you again, maybe other people listening. If you get to that place where you’re challenging, you wanna throw in the towel, maybe you need to put something in place for yourself that says, okay, wait. Let me remember why I’m doing this. If the why is no longer big enough and important enough for you, then maybe it is time to reassess if that’s the right path for you.

[00:21:26] But if you still can reconnect to that, that, yep, this is my purpose. Yes, this is a phase. Things are challenging, we’re gonna get through it. I still have to stay this course. Then that why can be that anchor [00:21:40] that you need when you’re hearing all this chaos going on to pull you back. Absolutely.

[00:21:45] Yeah. That’s really good that you’re able to do that.

[00:21:48] Selena: Yeah, it’s, I have to say that it’s having that support network around me, having those people around me that know me and know, and it can recognize when I’m in a funk before I’ve even recognized it. Okay. Because sometimes I think that we, or for me anyway, sometimes I’ll get into a place where I’m kind of dragging my feet and they can’t seem to focus and they don’t know what’s up.

[00:22:08] And then it’ll be someone around me who says, Hey, so you missed sending out that email yesterday out late, what happened? And I’ll be able to go, oh yeah, I was having a fearful moment, or I was, second guessing myself or whatever. for me, one of the things that I recognized, I would say about halfway through is that the fear of failure for me was one thing.

[00:22:32] And once I had put that aside, I didn’t recognize for a very long time that the fear of success is a very real thing.

[00:22:40] Audra: Yeah. So were you doing a little self-sabotaging? Oh, yes.

[00:22:45] Selena: All over the place. And I would say that I still do in some ways, for sure. I still do in some ways. I have moments where I, that I go, okay, what’s happening?

[00:22:53] Why am I not able to get that thing done that I wrote on my schedule was gonna happen today, or whatnot. And, then I have to sit down with my journal and try and figure it out and dig it up. Or call my therapist

[00:23:05] Audra: friend somebody, hold me accountable. I keep avoiding this. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:23:11] Yeah. Fair of success. We haven’t really explored that too much I know it’s a thing. and it will trip up a lot of people. Maybe you [00:23:20] haven’t grown into the person that you think you’re supposed to be, to be able to justify in your mind that you are entitled to that success.

[00:23:32] Yeah.

[00:23:33] Selena: Yeah. I think in a lot of ways that can be true. Yeah. for me, there was a lot of, and this is recurring over my life, so I was in the military for quite some time, and when I decided to leave the military, it was a very difficult decision and I couldn’t understand why I was trying, cause it was very unhappy.

[00:23:48] It wasn’t fitting with me anymore. But I was so tied to my identity As the girl in the military, that I didn’t know who I was going to be or who I was without a uniform in my closet, without the combat boots, without the who was I, who am I? And some of that I find for me, came back with that fear of success.

[00:24:08] If I am not Oh, interesting. Working a nine to five in this government town, then who am I? If I am not all set up with my pension and all the rest of it, then who am I? and there’s a lot of that. There’s a lot of that in there. We get so wrapped up. I think for me, I got so wrapped up in my identity as this person or that person That when I try to step away from that, I, do all kinds of little funny self-sabotage tests.

[00:24:34] Audra: Oh, no. though, I imagine a lot of people go through that initially, from being an employee for so many years and then trying to spin off on their own and probably don’t even recognize that’s what they’re, they’re mad at themselves that they didn’t move laterally, because we all know when you become an entre, you may have grown to the top of your company as far as your position there and your expertise, but when you move into the [00:25:00] entrepreneur space, even though you are the leader, you’re at the bottom man.

[00:25:03] You’re at step one. Yes, you have an expertise in something, but launching a business, It doesn’t, youall those skills don’t transfer through osmosis. So you all of a sudden are able to run this successful company. So you have all these new skills that you have to acquire. I can, and then trying to let go of the identity of who you were, that’s gonna be a pretty major conflict.

[00:25:27] Internal conflict, yeah. So letting

[00:25:30] Selena: go with the identity. And one of the ways it comes up for me is in time management, right? Okay. If I am not required to be sitting in front of a screen from nine to five, will I, okay. Is that what I’m gonna choose to do with my time? Yeah. And so that, that’s a, for me, that’s one that I still struggle with.

[00:25:48] I still struggle with, right? Because I see myself trying to escape from, this or that. and then I worry that this escapism is going to transfer into my business as well. Though, though I have no reason to believe that it does, because I’m working in my business after hours. I’m putting all this extra time in on top of the nine to five, and so is that going to interfere later on once I don’t have that nine to five anymore?

[00:26:12] I don’t truly think so. But there’s always that little voice in the back of my head that says, I don’t know. That says, are you sure you’re disciplined enough? yeah.

[00:26:21] Audra: do you have a conflict or a challenge because the service you provide is not behind a desk, behind a computer.

[00:26:28] Do you find that you have to convince yourself to sit behind the desk? Could do the work?

[00:26:33] Selena: At times, yes. I find because I’m using a very different part of my brain Sit down and write to the parents, and speak to the [00:26:40] parents and, convey information online than I am when I’m in the water.

[00:26:45] Completely in flow, cuz that is where I am completely in flow, right? Sure. And when I’m coaching with a parent coaching, I’m completely in flow. But when I’m sitting down to write or to plan ahead for something that is such a completely different part of my brain that I have, I struggle to get into flow in those moments as well.

[00:27:05] And so often I’ll write half an email and then leave and then come back and fiddle with it and then change my mind on the entire topic and then, yeah. So yes,

[00:27:19] Audra: I see. Because everything I do is online. I teach offline for lots of things. If I’m doing workshops, those are in person. But probably 90% of what I do is online,.

[00:27:33] Which is so weird. but I do find that when I focus on different topics, so I have multiple websites doing different kinds of things, that allows me to get that break as well. So if I spend all morning, say I’m writing content, I gotta do something else in the afternoon, cuz I’m just, I’m done. I’ve completely zapped out that part.

[00:27:52] And I need to be able to refresh and focus on something else, but too much of one thing. It’s hard for me now. I’m super disciplined. I’ve worked from home since 2005. I get up, I get dressed. I don’t work in my pajamas. it’s a business day for me. Yes. but not everybody’s like that. I’ve known many people.

[00:28:12] I’m like, what are you doing? it’s noon. Why haven’t you got anything done yet? Oh, I did dishes. I started a load of laundry and I was, [00:28:20] I don’t do that stuff during the day. Yeah. Yeah. Even though I work from home, it’s gotta be, I need that structure. I need to be able to separate, this is where I do this is the time that I do this and it works for me.

[00:28:34] Selena: Yeah. So I’ve done that structure in a different way. So I do need that structure, but I do tend to hop around. So I will get up from my computer and go throw a little laundry in. But what I’ve done is I’ve created spaces for myself in the house. So when I am sitting in this is what this space is for.

[00:28:48] So there’s no yoga happening in my office. There’s no novels being read in my office. the office is computer work. If I am working on something different, I’m in a different space. So right now I’m not in my office because my office is open concept and I have this little room, and this is where I take all of my calls

[00:29:04] This is my space for interacting with clients, for interacting with myself, and for being, this is my little sacred space for communication. And so sometimes I will bring my computer down here when I’m trying to communicate with a parent.

[00:29:16] So when I can’t get an email written up there, sometimes I’ll take it down here because it’s a communication practice. Good. and having these spaces allows me, so if I’m not able to focus up there, I can take it down here and change the space. but I do tend to, in the middle of the day, I’ll go and empty the dishwasher or I’ll go and, now I still have one that comes home at school from school for lunch.

[00:29:37] Oh, so that also cuts the day, right?

[00:29:40] Audra: yeah. That’s good. for somebody that’s just getting started that has a burning desire to do something. Now you’ve been in it eight years. So we’ve come from a little bit different space. If you’ve been in business, I would say over probably three or four years, the coming up during that time was different than it is now.

[00:29:59] I think [00:30:00] I’ve been through, it feels like I’ve been through like three different iterations of moving a business online since I started. what would you say to somebody that’s just now getting started? So they have no back history, they’re just coming in. Where would you tell them to focus their energy?

[00:30:16] Selena: start sharing the thing that you’re great at doing with friends, with family, and just start sharing, frankly. Iit doesn’t become a business Okay. Until people are interested. It doesn’t become a business until people are saying, Hey, this is a thing that I did that was amazing and I needed it.

[00:30:33] I needed it. Okay. And so finding those people at first that need it, that you can practice with. Externally becomes really important. that, excuse me. That would be my first thing is before you start charging for anything, Go and practice for fun and see, do you actually really like it?

[00:30:50] Do you really wanna do this? Yeah. And I can give you a little story about this and how this kind of turned out for me. so one of the ways in which, recreational sports are taught is on a weekly basis. And so typically you’ll see the same children week in and week out for 8, 10, 12 weeks. Now, teaching sessions over 8, 10, 12 weeks throughout my youth made me realize really quickly that I didn’t wanna be a school teacher.

[00:31:20] Because I did not want to have the same children in my class day in, day out for an entire year. That sounded like torture to me.

[00:31:28] Audra: Okay. It did it. Thank God it’s not for everybody. It’s not, and

[00:31:32] Selena: I have so much respect for teachers. I, my parents are both in education. I, I have cousins in Ocean. I [00:31:40] so much respect for teachers.

[00:31:41] Not for me. Absolutely not for me. Now that being said, I am a teacher too, though. I’m coaching children, I’m coaching parents. I am a teacher. But one of the things that I realized really quickly was I was getting asked when I started all of this, and I started, doing the little lessons here and there and, sharing what I could do with friends and then it, snowballed from there.

[00:31:59] I had parents come and ask me to do weekly upkeep sessions and in my need to grow the business and offer everything I could for every little bit that could come in. I offered 10 weeks of weekly lessons.

[00:32:21] I think by week four I was crying because I didn’t, oh no, I just didn’t want to, I just did not want to do it anymore. And so that really helped inform for me that is not a model that’s gonna work for me, and that’s a model that’s gonna make me miserable long term. And so though clients ask for it all the time, still something I don’t offer.

[00:32:43] And being able to figure those things out early helped me to maintain my business and not burn myself out and wear myself out emotionally through doing something to, in the guise of bringing in more income and helping the business that didn’t fit with me, that I didn’t want to do. So that’s where I say go out, practice and see what format works for you. Figure it out. And it doesn’t mean that once you’re in it, an accepting payment that you can’t change your mind. But once you’re putting messaging out there, it’s a little bit harder. If you’re marketing and advertising and doing all this stuff and saying, yes, I offer this wonderful session, and then you wake up and you say, oh wait, this is not what I wanna [00:33:20] do, and you’ve got six months of this planned and booked.

[00:33:23] Yeah. You’re gonna be sorry. Yeah. And that might cause you to just a lot of stress get out. Exactly.

[00:33:30] Audra: I love the fact that you say practice. So what I typically will tell clients is go out and give away your services for free for like three customers. think about it. I wanna be a coach.

[00:33:43] I go through all this licensing and credentials and learning, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars on my education. So I’m qualified. Then I take that and I try to find clients and I wanna charge a bunch of money because that’s what the industry says you’re supposed to do. And you get three or four clients and you hate it, and you’re like, oh my gosh, why didn’t I think about this ahead of time?

[00:34:05] So going out and practicing, I think is a great way to put it, where you can just go out and try out what you’re learning. to see if that is something that you’re congruent with, that resonates with you from a business perspective. Be way before you invest in all this websites and funnels and all this stuff to present yourself, and then you hate it and you end up pivoting.

[00:34:31] Yeah. That’s a great, that’s a great lesson for rework, right? Yeah, exactly. Doing

[00:34:37] Selena: the website again, and changing the offering and this and that, right? Yeah. I see just about everything as a practice, frankly. Yeah. when we get in the water with the kids, I tell the children, we’re practicing. We’re just practicing.

[00:34:48] You don’t have to learn anything today. We’re just practicing. It takes the pressure off, it does, takes the pressure off. It’s a continuation of your education. It’s just more learning. Learning about yourself this time. Learning about your clients. Yeah. About what you like, what you don’t like, [00:35:00] what’s gonna work, what’s not gonna work, Yeah.

[00:35:01] Audra: that is a great takeaway for me for today. Just being able to help people position it, let yourself off the hook. We’re just practicing right now as to what it could look like if this is what you decided to do. Yep. and yeah. Even

[00:35:16] Selena: with all those certifications, you go and you get all this certifications, all this, and you get in there and you practice and you’re like, whoa, I hate this and I hate everything about it,

[00:35:24] I took a major pivot. I have a degree in environmental studies.

[00:35:27] Never worked in environmental issues at all in my life. It was something that I was interested in and then it wasn’t. and it was fun. I learned a lot. I enjoyed my learning, but when I left there, I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do, andthere’s no ill will against myself for it or anything like that, because, We’re constantly learning and evolving and growing, and we have to give ourselves the space to change

[00:35:51] Audra: directions for whatever that looks like.

[00:35:54] Yeah. When I was young, I wanted to be a psychologist. I thought it is definitely part of maybe who I was in another life or I don’t know. But even as a young child, people would come to me and share things with me and I’d be able to say, oh yeah, that person does this person. And they’re like, how do you know this?

[00:36:12] I’m like, people just tell me. So a coffee shop was definitely a good fit for that, but, didn’t go to college right away. I actually did a term paper on Sigmund Freud when I was a sophomore in high school and that scared the heck outta me. I’m like, oh my gosh. Psychiatrist and psychologist end up addicted to drugs cuz nobody ever listens to them and I’m just not gonna do this.

[00:36:37] but I was kind of anchor list trying [00:36:40] to figure out what I wanted to do. Fast forward, I get into business, I end up going to college at 26 and I got two degrees, but I got one in psychology and one in behavioral science And, not to pursue it. And what I found was I love helping people.

[00:36:57] I love listening. I love offering a different perspective to anybody that wants to do better for themselves. I have about this much patience for whiners, and that is a terrible thing to say, but it’s good. Like I could never be the woman sitting there counseling somebody that just wanted to complain. They didn’t get enough attention or this or that.

[00:37:22] Now they’re all legitimate challenges. It’s just not for me. It’s just I have zero tolerance for that kind of stuff. I was like, oh, okay, so I, so part of that fits me, but doing it as a profession never gonna happen. So it being in business and being a teacher or leader, whatever speaker kind of thing allows me to do the good side of it, but I don’t have to do the bad side of it.

[00:37:49] if you don’t wanna work, don’t work. Also don’t expect me to sit around and listen to you complain cuz we don’t do that. It,

[00:37:58] Selena: it’s funny you say that because that’s, yeah. The victimhood, I don’t do the victim stuff either at all. At all. I, in a previous life, I was a fitness, nutrition and wellness coach.

[00:38:10] Oh my gosh. Yeah. and I can only imagine, this is why I don’t teach adults to swim either. Yeah. There’s just so much baggage that comes with it [00:38:20] and there’s so much, and one I’m not equipped to, to be your psychologist cuz I’m not. But I’m a coach and I’m a really good coach. Good. So if you’re there to work and you wanna put the work in, I can help.

[00:38:32] But otherwise no, I hear you.

[00:38:35] Audra: I hear you on that one. No, I just, no, I can’t do it. I can’t do it. But. With that said, it’s not that I’m, I am, free from making excuses of the old my own things that I’m afraid of or I avoid because they seem too hard or it’s overwhelming. I just am a little bit better at recognizing it.

[00:38:56] So what I’ll do is I’m really good at compartmentalizing, so I’ll say, okay, I’ve avoided this for a week and I’m gonna avoid it for the rest of the week, but at the beginning of the week, I gotta take it on and, or I gotta sit down and figure out why I’m avoiding it so I can work through whatever it is.

[00:39:12] And I think we just need to evolve to that as humans. I didn’t start there. I avoided stuff and it was overwhelming. I was 26, I got divorced with three kids under the age of five. It was scary. It was a lot of. I avoided a lot of things, but then I got to a place where they kept resurfacing. So same in our business.

[00:39:32] If you don’t deal with stuff, you’re going to deal with stuff. It’ll find you. It will find you, maybe not today, maybe it’s next week, maybe it’s next month. But you have to not run from this kinda stuff. And just face it. Yeah. Okay. My options are do nothing and let it implode. Take it on and do it halfway, or, figure out what the best solution [00:40:00] is for me that I can live with, and then just move on to what’s next.

[00:40:04] But we find a little tiny splinters that just seem to fester and fester. And then talking to somebody else, it’s oh, that’s all it was, man. I had built it up to this big avalanche of things. I should have just reached out and got some help. To point out, I just needed to go a little bit more this way and then things would start flowing again.

[00:40:30] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:40:31] Selena: Jesus, you say that, there’s a, there’s something that I have done for myself that has really helped me when it comes to things that I avoid, and that is giving myself permission. So I am a procrastinator. I work so much better under pressure. If things are due in 20 minutes, you will have it, you will have it on time.

[00:40:49] Audra: But two days from now, don’t talk to me about, look it.

[00:40:52] Selena: Yeah. I can’t look at it three days ago. I have to look at it when I know it’s hours zero. Now that doesn’t always work. Sometimes it works really badly. Sometimes it’s a poor choice. However, giving myself permission to do that. And not see it as procrastination, but see it as I choose to do this then, because I know that it’s gonna come out better and faster and why would I waste my time with it until then? And then also allowing myself permission to. Let things you said, if I don’t do it, something will implode. Allowing myself permission to let things implode if they’re going to, if it’s something that’s really not in alignment and I’m really avoiding it and I can’t find the reason why I’m avoiding it, other than I really just don’t wanna do this.

[00:41:31] If you really just don’t wanna do it, then don’t do it. If it’s not gonna move the ticker over, or if it’s not gonna, then let it drop. Just let it [00:41:40] be and take that off your plate and give yourself permission to accept that wasn’t in alignment in this moment. And maybe it will be in three weeks, maybe it will be in three years, but that right now, in this moment, you didn’t have the bandwidth for, or if it wasn’t in alignment with, and that’s okay.

[00:41:53] And so that just really helped me, and not to say that, you should look at it and say, why am I not doing this thing Obviously that part is very important and can’t be skipped because otherwise your business go anywhere. But allowing yourself to look at it and say, okay, I really don’t wanna do this.

[00:42:07] How important is it really? What happens if I don’t do it? What happens? Yeah, but what happens? Nothing. What happens is if what? What? and if what happens is minimal, we’re not gonna change anything in your business. We’re not gonna be positive impact, then maybe you don’t do it or maybe you hire someone else to do it.

[00:42:26] Audra: You know what I run into often with small business owners, so think about social media specifically. A lot of people want to have a business, but they’re not extroverts. They’re never gonna be extroverts, they’re never gonna be on camera, they’re never gonna put out reels or stories or any of that kind of stuff.

[00:42:45] But they are some of the worst critics about it, and I think that they just don’t give themselves permission to accept I am who I am. I’m an introvert. I’m very good at my services, I’m good with my clients. They. It’s like they can’t let it go because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do to be successful, and without it, they’re failing.

[00:43:10] And a lot of times I’ll say, but do you like being on camera? no, I hate it. I’m never gonna be on camera. So let it go. What do you tie to it? It’s not gonna work for you. It’s not a tool in your [00:43:20] toolbox. Yep. Find a different hammer, find a different way to go about it. Absolutely. And they’re like,I haven’t really thought about it that way.

[00:43:29] So this conflict of trying to show up as, I don’t even know whose expectations there are. There are, I guess

[00:43:39] Selena: we’ve decided are the expectations to run a business we’ve decided that you need in order to succeed when really, success looks like all kinds of different things. To me, success is happy.

[00:43:50] Audra: Sure. It’s gotta be first the

[00:43:52] Selena: bank account. It’s not anything, it’s connection with the people that I love, closeness with my friends and family and, and that’s, that, that’s success. If I have that, then I’m good. And how do I do that? obviously I have to put food on the table, right? So there are things that have to be done, but success is not about the number of clients.

[00:44:10] So the number of followers or the number of anything. It’s can I do this and live my life in a balanced way that offers me the happiness and the joy that I want? Yeah. To live the life I want to live.

[00:44:23] Audra: And if you continue to look at it, if my business is gonna be successful, it needs to look like these other boxes.

[00:44:32] you’re gonna live a long time never feeling like you’ve measured up or that you’re successful cuz you’re basing that on somebody else’s business model or somebody else’s plan. Maybe they are an extrovert and maybe the way they get joy and happiness is being on camera. Yeah. the camera thing is huge for many people.

[00:44:53] I would say seven outta 10 of every one of my students have that conflict. introvert [00:45:00] versus extrovert. The introverts feel like they’re supposed to fit in that box.

[00:45:04] Selena: Why? Yeah. Yeah. and I would say there are so many other ways that you can be present on social media, putting your face on there without speaking out loud on there,

[00:45:12] you see all kinds of posts that do really well. so a woman I follow, she does a lot of,self-care advice and she holds up a poster in front of her face. And then drops the posters. She writes one of those. Yeah. and that works for her. Good.

[00:45:26] And her business seems to be going well from external point of view. Her business seems to be going well. and I think that part of it too is that understanding that there are people like you out there, and that you will find your people when you are real, when you try to fit into everybody else’s box, you don’t come off as genuine.

[00:45:44] You don’t come off as, truly you. And people can sense that and feel that. And you won’t attract the people who are like you and who could use you, who you truly are. by negating that part of yourself, I think it’s, it actually harms businesses a lot. Trying to fit into a box that Yeah.

[00:46:04] Because then they don’t find the clients that fit with

[00:46:05] Audra: them. That’s where I was gonna go with that. You don’t show up as you, therefore you don’t attract the customer that you wanna work with. So you end up having a bunch of yucky customers that you’re not congruent with and you’re mad at all day.

[00:46:20] Yes. That’s what you attracted. Cause you didn’t show up as your genuine self. Yeah. What a terrible web to be in. Yep. Oh, what a Inc. Incur place. No wonder businesses have so many different challenges. I get it. At the beginning, I took on clients I wasn’t excited about. Because I was trying to build a name for [00:46:40] myself in this industry and fast forward a few years, I don’t have to do that anymore luckily.

[00:46:45] But, You gotta be congruent of it. I knew what I was doing. I am making this sacrifice because this is the result I’m trying to get because of it. So yes, this is not my ideal client, but I’m also conscious of it and made that decision, not unconsciously. I decided to do that and I could live with that decision as well.

[00:47:06] yeah. All right. this has been great. So give me some last advice for somebody that is on their journey that is just getting started, that is completely overwhelmed by everything they’re seeing online. How do they bring it back and be able to focus, what’s right in front of them? What would you suggest?

[00:47:26] Don’t worry about

[00:47:27] Selena: the path. Don’t worry about the how. Okay. Worry about the next right step. Okay. The next right step. So when we look at all of this, you need a website, you need social media followers, you need this, you need that, all of this stuff that you, sure. Eventually one day they need, sure, fine. But right now, in this moment, what’s the next step?

[00:47:50] Don’t worry about how you’re gonna get there. Just know that if you wanna be there, you’ll get there. And what is the next step to take? Okay. So is the next step to call that client back? Maybe it’s as little as that, right? Yeah. Call that one person back that said they’d be interested in letting you practice on them.

[00:48:05] Call them, make that practice happen. And then what? And then what’s the next step? Ask ’em for a testimonial. Sure. Okay. And then what do you do with that testimonial there? There you might start to need to look at, okay, I need an Instagram account to put this on. But until you have that testimonial, there’s no [00:48:20] sense in looking at the Instagram account or the website you’re gonna put it on when you don’t have the testimonial yet.

[00:48:24] So stop trying to jump 18 steps ahead to where you want to be and think about. What is the next right step to take that is in alignment with how I feel, with what I want to do, with how I want this to go. And I think that if I had known that, if I had known that hindsight’s 2020, if I had known that things would, things I think I’d be in a different place in my business.

[00:48:46] Yeah.

[00:48:46] Audra: That’s all. I think all of us would. Yeah. We’re told almost like overwhelmingly go to the end and re-engineer it backwards, but we miss so much in between because we don’t know what we don’t know. So we go to the end. We try to exist out there. Then we realize after, many months or many thousands of dollars, we’re not ready for that, and we try to come back and then it’s oh my gosh, I have to almost start all over again.

[00:49:13] If they would’ve just started with the basic principles of what you just said, why worry about an Instagram account? We don’t have a testimonial to put on it. You don’t need a website yet because you don’t have a product to sell because nobody’s used a service that you’re offering. it’s important just to stay with the basics and know that it’s okay to stay in the basics.

[00:49:34] You’re gonna get a lot more success from it.

[00:49:37] Selena: You’re gonna get a lot more success. And I would say that it’s gonna avoid a lot of rework. yeah, one of those things that I didn’t do was going and asking clients, what was the thing that made you call me? What was the thing that made you love this?

[00:49:49] What was, and using those words in my messaging later on to attract other clients, right? which is fairly, Fairly basic, but because I hadn’t, I was trying to get over there, I I have [00:50:00] remade my website four times.

[00:50:03] Audra: Oh, sister. I’ve rebuilt websites probably 20 times.

[00:50:07] Selena: I’m not talking about the small tweaks here. I’m talking about overall, right? Yeah. Sometimes we’ve overhauled everything and I, I even went through a rebrand because The name that I had picked was very limiting. And once I had a bigger picture of what I was headed for, it needed to change.

[00:50:22] We were swim to Selena once upon a time and we’re not at the corner because it’s not just me. and, yeah. And so I would say, yeah, absolutely. Listen to your client, listen to your practice clients, listen to the people who you’re practicing with, and take down those key words. What are they saying to you?

[00:50:38] And that’s gonna inform how you move into your next step and what you say in that next step. Love

[00:50:44] Audra: it. Love it. Thank you so much. This has been a great conversation and I got even got some good takeaways that I can use to help my students. I really like the practice, perspective. one of the earlier podcasts I had, she was talking so she decided she was gonna be a coach, went through all the training and everything, and then tried to go out and give away free coaching services, and she had one taker.

[00:51:12] So going from a perspective of, let me just practice on you, they feel like they’re doing you a favor and there’s no, I think also with the free means, oh, you’re gonna give it to me free, but then you’re gonna hound me and try to sell me something. catch. There’s always a catch. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:51:28] Selena: There’s always a catch.

[00:51:29] I used to ask friends if I could practice on them. I’d have a friend come over and she’d tell me a problem. I’d look at her and I’d say, Can I coach you through this? Good. what does that mean? So I’m gonna ask you a bunch of questions. It’s gonna get really uncomfortable. Can we [00:51:40] do that?

[00:51:40] Audra: awesome.

[00:51:41] Excited about it.

[00:51:42] Selena: Yeah. Okay. And they say, sure, okay. And I say, all right, here we go. You said this. And then I, and just that there’s a practice right there. And so you did it for 10 minutes. So you practiced for 10 minutes with one client. Doesn’t matter if you haven’t taken a client through your whole program.

[00:51:54] yeah. Take those little bits of practice and go back to those friends and say, Hey, did that work for you? What worked? What didn’t work? Would you like what you didn’t like? and did

[00:52:01] Audra: you ever give it another thought? Yeah. yeah.

[00:52:04] Selena: Yeah. that’s how I, that’s how I tell my instructors to do it.

[00:52:08] That’s good. And that’s,I, everything in my life I do. That way, when I I snap at the children, I go back and I remind myself, what are we practicing? We’re practicing and they wine and it’s gonna be okay. And then I go back and I practice. I always feel it. We’re faking it till we make it.

[00:52:23] That’s okay. We’re practicing.

[00:52:25] Audra: Yeah, practicing. All right. with that said, thank you so much for being here. This has been great. I’ve enjoyed it.

[00:52:32] Selena: Thank you. I had a wonderful time chatting with you. It was a really great conversation.

More Episodes Like This

vicki landers scaled e1699368275526 | zindo+co

Vicki Landers The episode delves deeper into how Vicki reimagined her professional life by moving out of her comfort zone, challenging traditional

Listen Now»
famira green

Famira Green In this episode, Audra talks to Famira, a community focused brand coach, about her journey through the mess in the

Listen Now»
Stacey Hagen

In this episode Audra and Stacey talk about the importance of niching down, using results to market your business, and more.

Listen Now»
Compare items
  • Total (0)

Grab Our Quick Start Guides & Resources to Keep You Moving