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Real Life Experience - The Power of Partnership

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[Sheri Oppenheimer] Hello, we are so thrilled and honored to speak to you today. We hope our personal stories will inspire you to achieve all you dream for yourself. My name is Sheri Oppenheimer, and I am the founder of "Full Plate Health" as well as the co-founder of the "100 Women Project." I'm here today with my mom, Debbie Zimmerman, who is the founder of "Turning Leaf Nutrition and Wellness," and my co-founder of the "100 Women Project." We're hoping that our stories will inspire you to reach your dreams, take some risks, have confidence in your business, fuel your creativity, and show you the advantages of finding a partner to catapult your business towards success. [Debbie Zimmerman] Hi, I'm Debbie, and we'd like to tell you a little bit about ourselves so you'll see where we have come from and where we are now. So I had several jobs throughout my career, but I was always searching for a way to make a difference. I spent over a decade at a local Chamber of Commerce as Director of Special Events. Then I spent some time producing a children's musical in the New York Musical Theater Festival. That was a lot of fun. And that led to a position as Director of Development for a regional theater. But it really wasn't until I made a lifestyle change, lost 90 pounds, and found myself as a lecturer for a national weight loss company that I really felt as if I was making a difference. But I wanted to take it to the next level and open my own practice. You see, I felt as if I had a secret— a secret way of living and eating that was so unique that I could help other people. I found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I loved it from the first time I devoured the materials. I felt as if I finally found other people who believed in the same lifestyle principles I did. It's really empowering to find a whole other class of people who believe in the same principles. I don't know about you, but when I was in school I was so empowered by my fellow classmates I finally felt as if I was in the right place. By graduation I had nearly 20 clients, an office, a newsletter, a blog, a website. I was asked by Whole Foods to moderate special events. I was active in area networking organizations. I was networking like crazy, and I was sought after as a motivational speaker for different community organizations and companies. I never ever thought that that would be possible. Hey, I didn't even have a business background. How could this possibly be happening to me? But it was. Since graduation I have expanded my practice and now have merged and joined forces with Sheri to form the "100 Women Project" with a mission to create a ripple effect of health and happiness around the world, one woman at a time. We are so happy to report that we are now connecting people in every state in America and over 20 countries. It's amazing. And this is another dream come true— to be working side by side with my daughter, a partner who continually inspires my thoughts and creativity on a daily basis. [Sheri] So I was working at a Fortune 100 food company, and I loved the health and wellness aspect of my job but I'm—I'll tell you—I was always stressed out, and I just felt like something was really missing. A lot of you listening to this know the drill. I had taken the GMAT, I was ready to go to business school because that was the next thing to do, but something just really wasn't sitting right with me. I was having nightmares at night, I was totally stressed out. And I went to my mom for help. And I borrowed her materials from IIN one night, and I stayed up until one in the morning reading them. And the next day I snuck away from my office at lunch. I called the school, and I enrolled right in the program. And I really had finally felt like I had found my calling. And—you know—despite the busy hours I knew it would mean outside of work, I knew it was something that I had to do. I knew it was going to be a lot of work. You know, I already had a 14+ hour day with 10 hours in the office and a few hour commute each way, but something amazing happened as soon as I enrolled in the program. Everything just seemed so much better now that I could listen to my classes in the car on the way home and spend time at night connecting with like-minded people on the OEF. And all of the sudden I really couldn't wait for my commutes to work, and it really was a crazy, crazy few months. But by the time I had finished the program I had left my corporate job, I had 10 clients, I had ended a relationship, moved back to Atlanta to be with the person I love, and opened an office in an organic day spa. If you had shown me this life before I had started the program and told me that it was attainable, there is absolutely no way I would have believed you. It really is like living a dream. [Debbie] So this is how the idea of the "100 Women Project" began. Sheri took me to New York to actually celebrate my graduation from IIN, and we got to thinking, "If she could help me overcome my struggle with weight, and I could help her overcome her struggle with stress and anxiety then how impactful it would be if we could commit to helping 100 women transform their health and lives?" Our vision was—and still is—if we could help these women and they could help their family and friends and those people would then go on to have an impact with others then we were truly creating this ripple effect of health and happiness around the world. We decided to start on this journey and then when we reached our goal we would write a book of inspirational stories to continue inspiring women for years to come. [Sheri] So once this idea was set there was no stopping us. Quickly we took our personal Health Coaching sites— mine was "" and my mom's was "" And we combined them into one website, "" By combining our forces and setting a goal within just a few months we had hundreds of women around the country following us, dozens of new clients and new, innovative programs we could offer them by connecting them with each other. We were interviewed for national women's magazines. Literally on the cuff, after setting this intention, we quickly saw that we could not only help hundreds of women but that we could connect each of our clients so they could help each other. We started saying, "If only Amanda in DC knew Ashley in Portland then they would get along great, and they'd be able to help each other with their yoga routines." And so we made it happen. We revamped our website so we could connect the women we were helping and this is really where the magic started to happen. There is so much power in women supporting women. And we're so excited that we have found the platform where we can really make that happen. [Debbie] Now I'd like to give you some tips on working with a partner. Look, we both were working our tails off. We both had blogs, we both had websites, we both were tackling social media, and we decided if we joined forces, we could do half the amount of work and tap into each other's strengths. Sheri's background is business and PR, and she's amazing at it. I struggle with that end of things. So utilizing her knowledge not only helped me in my own practice but propelled us forward with the "100 Women Project." I, however, have a strong background in working with nonprofit organizations and different types of people so my intuition with special situations comes just a little easier. I also have been coaching a little longer than Sheri, and I have a really good insight into the closing of health history consultations and—like some special coaching situations that arise. So are we really working half the amount of time? No, [laughing] but that's because the combination of our talents has propelled us to places beyond our dreams: Interviews with national magazine publications, national organizations, speaking engagements, IIN, and clients. We are really, really busy, but it's all with really fantastic and really great things. [Sheri] So as things really started to pick up I realized what a blessing my corporate career at a food manufacturer really was because I felt like I had all the skills I needed to help us be smarter with our time, our marketing, and our business strategy. I really started treating the "100 Women Project" just as I would a large project at my old job. We invested in strategic planning sessions together, built a business plan and timelines, and started placing clear ownership for each of us on specific tasks. So we could make sure that we got everything done, but that we weren't doubling our efforts. And this really was key as we moved forward, and the activity just kept picking up. [Debbie] Working together has really been great for our business. I would encourage everyone to find someone they connect with. Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have a daughter who has embraced my career, but there are people out there that you may want to collaborate with. So I would suggest to look for other people in your community for partnership, and it could, quite possibly, be another student in school. Each person has their own strengths. When I was in school I met a fellow student who happened to be in my area and had a Pilates and yoga studio. And we got together a few times just to see how we could collaborate, and we realized that she had space in her studio, but she really had just enrolled in the school just to get the knowledge— just to be able to help her clients. But she really didn't have any intention at all to ever actually practice health coaching. I had the intention, but I had no where to see clients. So this great partnership was born and now I rent space from her, but we really rely on each other for mutual referrals while, at the same time, we use our relationship to create fabulous programs, workshops, and collaborations. And we really rely on each other to think things through. It's a fabulous partnership. [Sheri] And it may not end up being the conventional places where you find partnerships. You know—like many of us—I had some major life changes during my time at IIN. One of which included moving to Atlanta from Philly. When I first got to Atlanta I was in major need of some self care. So I walked into a cute organic day spa and salon for a list of services for myself. And when I walked in and I looked around something really just struck me about the feeling there, and I thought to myself, "How cool would it be to have an office here?" So on a total whim, in addition to the list of services, I also asked the man standing at the counter for the card for the spa director. "And that's me," he said. So I started telling him what I do, and I proposed the idea of offering a makeover from the inside out there, pairing detoxifying facials and wraps with detoxing nutrition programs with me. And so a few days later I had an office. It's been an amazing place to work and a great place to get new clients and make friends with like-minded people in this new area. So go with your gut and have the confidence to know that any place would be lucky to have you. You know the world really does need us. [Debbie] Not everyone has to be an official business partner. Take a look at who you keep seeing at the same networking events. Chances are they have a mutual target group. Possibly collaborating with them will bring on some really great, unexpected results. [Sheri] Consider offering a referral reward to your friends who know a lot of people. You know—a large percentage of our clients comes from one friend who just happens to be very involved in the community and just knows a lot of people who could use our services. We always reward her with gift certificates to Whole Foods,, and small thank you packages as a token of our appreciation. We have found that the key elements to working with a partner are: first, accountability; two, dividing tasks; three, creating a specific timeline; four, hosting strategic planning sessions and mutual brainstorming— you know, no idea is too large or too small— five, Skyping—Skype has been fabulous. It feels like we're in the same room, and it's been a great way for us to connect. And number six, but our number one tip, is to have unconditional and complete trust and honesty with your partner. This is completely the underlying rule for success with a partnership that we found. [Debbie] Not all partnerships have to be in the same area. Yes, you might find somebody in your area to partner with, but Sheri is in Atlanta, Georgia, and I'm in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. So using all of these tips really propels us to working together, but you don't have to be in the same area. So think about it, you may have someone who lives in a different state, you may connect with somebody from IIN that you really connect with. So don't limit yourself to thinking that you have to live in the same city. And right now we would like to share seven of our top tips with you. So you can learn from our mistakes and take away some specific steps and advice that might work well for you and your practice. [Sheri] So tip number one—don't reinvent the wheel. IIN has it all figured out for you. Use the business cards, the websites, the brochure templates. Then, when and if you're ready, you can change them up. But in the beginning don't stress about those aspects because they did it all for us. So believe us, they really do work. [Debbie] Our second tip would be don't wait for it to be perfect because it never will be. Send the letter that you've written and rewritten to the chiropractor and just don't hesitate. Post that message in Facebook and LinkedIn. Go to that networking event even though you are really not in the mood. I like to say, "Get out of your own way." Just get out there and do it. if you strive for perfection, the only place for you to go is down. Think about it, perfection is the highest place to be. So there's no where to grow. If you strive to be a little less than perfect then you'll always have room for growth. [Sheri] Tip number three is just say yes. When things come your way and that little voice inside of you says, "I don't know how to do that at all." Tell that voice, "Just shut up." And say yes. You know—you'll figure it out. You know more than you think you do. You'll be happy you did say yes, and you'll be exposed to a new experience. [Debbie] Our fourth tip, and the thing that we keep saying to each other over and over again—it's our new mantra— "Make a mess and clean it up later." Just let your ideas flow. Don't limit your possibilities. We don't always know how we're going to accomplish all the projects we start, but we always do. We dream big, and we make a big old mess with our ideas, our projects, our campaigns. We set the bar really high, and then we figure out how to accomplish it. Hey, if we can do it, so can you. The sky is the limit. And I would also say, talk to everyone. That's our fifth tip. Tell everyone what you're doing—your hairstylist, your kid's teacher, your doctor, your friends, your family, your neighbors. Strike up a conversation with strangers. Hey, I once got a client and a speaking engagement while I was getting a pedicure. Seriously, I was sitting there and there was a woman to the left and a woman to the right and we were just sitting there and no one was talking. So I looked to the person to the right and I told them that they looked familiar, which was an absolute lie because I had never seen them before. But by introducing myself and by asking them what they did for a living, I was pretty sure that she would ask me the same question in return. And by talking about what I did, I not only was able to invite her to a health history consultation and ended up signing her for a client, but the person sitting on the other side of me was so intrigued in our conversation that one thing led to another, and she ended up hiring me to come speak at her company. So tell everybody what you're doing. And people are interested. Don't be afraid to speak up. [Sheri] Our sixth tip is to take risks. There is no way that I would have enrolled in IIN, left my company, or moved to Atlanta if I had been afraid to take risks. And these were really, really big risks. but as Deepak Chopra always says, "There is a reason why it is called a gut feeling," and so if you're afraid to do something try to feel where the fear is in your body. Is it in your head or is it in your heart? If it's in your head and you know in your heart what you're about to do just really does feel right, go and do it. I always say, "The six most powerful words in the English language are, 'I know this sounds crazy, but—'" Whenever you hear that phrase in your head, listen to it. It's telling you to do something and to take action. Tip number seven is to believe in yourself. We set out to take on the challenge of helping women around the world manage their stress and weight and stopping the epidemic of stress and weight for women around the world. This was a lofty goal. Lots of people laughed at us and questioned our decision to create this project. You know—leave our jobs, spend hundreds of hours trying to get the project off the ground. And you know, some people do laugh at us still, but we know in our hearts that it's happening. And if you believe in yourself, your products, your services, your marketing, your elevator speech, it's all just going to come flowing, and it will radiate from you effortlessly. You have the power to improve the life of every single person that you come in contact with. Right now, at this moment, you have everything you need to achieve your dreams. You know so much more than the average person, and you are here because you know that you can make a difference, and you know that you can help people and you can contribute to a happier and a healthier world. This is your gift that you've been given, so live a life of service. So believe that you can do it and you will. [Debbie] We hope we've given you some ideas on how we work together and how we have succeeded using all the tools given to us by IIN. Yes, we have been successful. But really the real success is not in how many clients we sign or how many speaking engagements we have or how many interviews we're granted, but the real success is in our clients: The diabetic whose sugars are now stable; the woman who crowded out processed foods and is now enjoying less weight, more energy, and no arthritic pain or migraines; the college student who now has gone off to school knowing exactly how to eat in a healthy manner; or the stress our corporate professional who now knows that she needs to take care of herself in order to handle the stresses of her life. These are our true successes, and these will be your successes, too. [Sheri] This is just the beginning of the life of your dreams. Have confidence in the universe and where it will take you. There is a whole wide world out there waiting for you. [Debbie] Congratulations on taking this journey and for changing the lives of every single person you meet from this day forward for they will be better off for knowing you. Consider every person you meet an opportunity to make a difference. You have the skills, the knowledge, and the passion to create a ripple effect of health and wellness across America and the world.

Video Details

Duration: 20 minutes and 13 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Dec 10, 2013

Module 38, july13

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