#14: May Motivation: Interview with Coach Julie

I use the walking book club as a tool to help my clients engage the mind and the body. So we have a friendly rule that you have to be listening to move.

Coach Julie Kaminski


I’m Dr. Moira.  I’m a college professor, instructor, coach, and passionate mentor to health coaches around the world, but I haven’t always been that confident and committed to my coaching career.  I wasn’t sure if I could make it work or even what the best approach was to success and fulfillment.  I decided to step up and step into my dream of guiding health coaches on their journey from Hesitant Health Coach to Committed Health CoachWith a unique approach to coach growth, the Health Coach Catalyst program creates a strong hexagonal effect.  The Coaching Hive podcast is your glimpse into the concepts, ideas, and approaches that underscore the Hexagonal Effect while giving you the opportunity to implement tools and tips along the way. Are you ready to dive into today’s podcast?  Then let’s go and remember that this podcast is family friendly so go ahead and play it through your speakers!


(please pardon any inaccuracies in this auto-generated transcript)

Moira: All right, welcome today. I have Julie with me, and she is a national board certified health and wellness coach.  Julie has a really unique and interesting approach to her business that I can’t wait to learn more about. I am sure that Julie’s going to have a lot of words of wisdom and encouragement to share. We’ve been chatting here just for a few minutes before we got onto the podcast. And I love to hear about all of the changes coming and how she’s growing her coaching business, especially in this virtual time, as things have shifted and changed. So welcome, Julie. 

Julie: Well thank you for having me. 

Moira: You are very welcome. I’m so happy to be able to sit down and talk with you today. And I know we talked a little bit before, but I do like to keep our podcasts kind of brief just to make it a little bit easier for everyone to be able to listen and learn a little bit.  So, if it’s okay with you, I’d love to go ahead and just jump right on it. 

Julie: Absolutely. Let’s do it. 

Moira: Awesome. So, to set the stage, I wonder if you could share just a little bit about your background as well as what led you to help him on this coaching? 

Julie: Okay. So I was an athlete most of my life.  I was a synchronized swimmer through college, and then in college, they cut it from the athletic budget and I replaced it each in group fitness group fitness led to a personal training and way back, gosh, 20 years ago, before wellness coaching started to evolve, I was doing it kind of intrinsically in the clients that I was working with because it was not necessarily about a great bicep curl or lifting weights.  It was really a much more holistic approach of the people that I was working with. And then, well, coaches came into being and I trained with them and they gave me the, the foundation of what I was doing intuitively with great training and kind of pulled it all together. I also, in, in somewhere in there, I got a master’s in counseling and I taught group fitness up till the pandemic, which is about 35 years. And maybe the pandemic was the way for me to actually maybe exit group fitness as I’m, as my body’s aging. So I’ve shifted more towards health and wellness coaching. And I found kind of an interesting niche, which I think we’ll get to. And that’s the walking book club, but kind of three sets of skillsets have come into play the counseling, the coaching and the train. 

Moira: I love that every time I talked to a health and wellness coach, I hear such a diverse background. And I think everyone brings something just a little bit different to the table, which makes our field so unique and just charismatic. We have so many different skill sets the end when we work together and collaborate. It just makes that even richer.

Julie: Yes, I, and I don’t know if you’ve been to any of the national board meetups in the, in the communities. And I would encourage anybody who is a national board certified health coach or going for it to check that aspect out. Cause my eyes really opened when I went to one of those and hearing the diverse backgrounds of everybody and, and, and exactly what you said is how everybody brings really a unique skill and a unique background and how health coaching has a variety of, of channels that are all worthy. 

Moira: Yes, yes. It is truly a field that is open and we have so many opportunities and so many ways to bring in your own experiences and your own likes to your coaching practice. And you mentioned that you have a walking book club.  I do wonder, can you tell me a little bit more about how your year, how you’re implementing that and what it looks like with your clients and your community? 

Julie: Absolutely. So, I use the walking book club as a tool to help my clients engage the mind and the body. So, we have a friendly rule that you have to be listening to move. So, for somebody who’s struggling to get exercise in, it was a way of encouraging them to get out and move more. It’s called the walking book club, but really any type of movement counts. So, all of the, the neat energy system of chores and gardening and food prep, it all, it all counts in the walking book club. So, so it, it started out as a, as a tool, but it’s evolved into a global community, which is really mind blowing in a way we have members in Australia. We have members in the UK, we have members in Canada. I mean, really we do span the globe, which is, is cool. So it’s a virtual free community that most of our dialogue takes place on in our Facebook group, which includes not only the audio book of the group selection, which we, I offer kind of, I call them book extras to enhance the actual audio book, but what I really love about it and where I bring my coaching background is that I add some coaching prompts to, to the platform. And I also add, I call them healthy body, happy mind, inspiration. So, anything that has to do with the health aspect, like fitness and eating behavior and nutrition and stress management and sleep. So, things that will I bring those topics into it on a, on a, I would say a weekly basis we’ll have anywhere from two to four healthy body happy mind posts and also the positive psychology aspect I bring in. So, whether the, the member walks to the group selection, they’re also welcome to walk to whatever they want an audio book of their own choosing, and then they still get all of the goodness with that. So, what I’ve done with that in this last year is, which is the little bit of the entrepreneur in coaching is I have offered a premium program for people who want a little bit more of a, a nudge or support or an accountability system at a very, very reasonable price, because I know budgets are tight, but you get that kind of constant reminder of an inspiration on different topics. And it also includes a little bit of one-on-one time with me. 

Moira: So, Wow. That is, that sounds amazing. And I know when I hop on my treadmill, I’m always listening to something, whether it’s a podcast or a training or a book that that’s brilliant. 

Julie: Yeah. So, what makes it kind of, there are a couple other aspects to it that that are I’m really proud of and that are unique. So not only do you get kind of a curriculum, if you choose to do the audio book, but last year we implemented what I call heart and soul book chats, where we pair authors with humanitarian causes. And we’ve had some amazing authors that come on New York times, number one, best-selling authors. We’ve had Janine comes and Lisa Wingate and several others. And we pair them with a humanitarian cause, which for me, and you, you know what I’m talking about, what, you know, in, in finding meaning and purpose and flow in the pandemic, that aspect really gave me a great sense of meaning purpose and, and, and flow. And we’ve raised, we pair it with a humanitarian cause. So we’ve raised money for feeding America. We’ve raised money for the international rescue committee, the covenant house, the Whitney Plantation Museum. So it’s, it’s, I like to say that the walking book club is not only good for the mind and the body.  It’s good for the heart and soul too. 

Moira: Oh, I love that. What a great way to give back and to just bring that to a worldwide community. And, you know, I think that truly embraces, I think about a wellness wheel with all of the different aspects of wellness audit and what you’re describing to me truly incorporates just about every single piece of that wellness wheel pie.

Julie: Thank you. Thank you. 

Moira: And You are making use of all of your background and all of those skills and tools you’ve learned over the years and offering them back in such a unique way with that free walking community and Facebook group and everything, but also that premium program where you do have a chance to sit down one-on-one with clients who choose to have that extra level of support.  And I think that’s a great reminder as well, that we can offer different levels of support to our clients.  

Julie: And, and what, what, and to be honest with you in a way, and I would say this to new coaches starting out, that it can be tough to enter this noisy world of coaching. And not only do we have to discern ourselves from, you know, the, the people who are calling themselves coaches and really the credentialed health coaches. So, you enter into this noisy world and the, the, the walking book club was a way to differentiate. So, if, if I were sitting down with newer coaches, I would actually really kind of encourage them to, to not only think bigger, but actually maybe in some respects think smaller. And what is your niche and what is unique to you? And then you differentiate yourself in this noisy world of coaching. 

Moira: Yes. Such a good point to find, find that passion and really focus in on it. I think sometimes we try and go too broad in that effort to get clients right, and to try and put ourselves out there in a noisy world, but actually finding that niche. I love it. That that concept of going a little bit smaller actually allows you to specialize more and to find the clients that you are a good fit with so much easier as well. 

Julie: Ah, and, and through the platform you get, you, you get a feel for what the ethos is of our community, which think is, is something that for newer coaches who aren’t going into say a healthcare system, I lost my train of thought right there. 

Moira: That’s okay. I do that too. 

Julie: Yeah. So, bring me back. Okay. 

Moira: So, when you think about these newer coaches and kind of finding a niche, whether we’re doing that in a healthcare system or not kind of thinking more toward not being in a healthcare system and being more of that independent coach and having to be an entrepreneur, what kind of advice would you give to that new coach?

Julie: In terms of like trying to differentiate yourself? entrepreneurial spirit. People have to get to know you. I think that maybe that was where that was, where my thought And, you know, through the community, not only do we offer opportunities to talk about the book, but I will offer opportunities for free workshops. So, then people get to know who I am, and you build that trust. And I think that’s one of the things when I go back eight years, 10 years ago, where I was kind of really starting to build who I am as a coach was to create that relationship where people trust you enough, that they’re going to say, okay, I want to work with you.

Moira: Yes. That trust is so important thing. Thinking about who our clients are, they’re coming to us for health and wellness reasons. And that can be scary. It can be maybe that they’ve tried in the past and feel like they haven’t gotten the results that they wanted or it wasn’t sustained. And so they’re already feeling a little bit nervous, the more trust that they have in us, that the more that they know us ahead of time, the easier that relationship becomes, and we can slip into that coaching guiding role much easier.

Julie: Hmm. Yep. And that’s how I, the, this, so I have a small private practice, but then this kind of niche within the walking book club of, and that goes back to more of the entrepreneurial kind of the business of bringing people into the community with a free offer.  And then the trust enough to say, okay, I, I, I like what you have to offer. Let’s go a little deeper. And then eventually, if it becomes a more kind of traditional coaching relationship, so 

Moira: There’s those opportunities, there’s different layers and levels of support and entry into coaching. And it doesn’t have to be just one way. I think that’s another thing to remember as, as new coaches, there’s not just one way to make this work right. And to be creative and to try things out and make adjustments, right. Just get started and do something versus kind of pausing and saying, Oh, I don’t know what to do, but taking that opportunity to get involved in the community and ways of giving back to the community and to the world, those are all going to be ways that you can build trust. 

Julie: And, and I think if, you know, when, when I work with clients and kind of, if the same kind of advice would go for newer clients is, is, you know, thinking big and then going narrow. And when you think big and you dream big, there’s your motivation and your meaning.  And to be quite honest with you, if I hadn’t had that, the, the emotional tie to it, or the, the intrinsic kind of this has value, this is my niche. This I’m passionate about this. It would make the hundreds of hours that I put into it, very difficult. So I think to say, to really search your soul and say, what am I passionate about? What, what do I have to offer that is unique and different has a lot of merit. 

Moira: And that, you know, you just brought up, I put hundreds of hours into this and because it is something that you’re passionate about and something that you love and it’s unique to you, you don’t get that same feeling of burnout or overwhelm that can happen.  If we’re trying to put ourselves into a box that we really don’t want to be in. So that’s, that’s good for, for coach health as well. Right. We, we know that that helping profession has a high risk for overwhelm and burnout. And by finding your niche and like gives you that joy, those hours you’re putting in truly are joyful.  It doesn’t mean you don’t get tired sometimes.

Julie: I would say 90% of them are, there is a 10% in, there were to be real. Right. Right. 

Moira: And I think that’s true with just about everything we get tired, and we want to break. But when you think about all of your, when you think about your coaching program and everything that you’re offering, I’m curious to know, what do you find most satisfying about it all?

Julie: To be honest with you right now, when the world feels so tenuous, I, the aspect of the philanthropic work for me, you know, I’ll be honest with you. I did do one of those letters, futures letters to your future. Best self. I practice what I preach.  I sat down and I did it. And in my last letter, I wrote about getting back into philanthropy and it was last March watching television. And I think it was the owner of the Sixers who was raising funds by calling his celebrity friends and having them offer things. And I said, well, what can I do? And that’s, that’s when this aspect started.  But, you know, it’s kind of funny how it came from a tool that I use in, in my practice about having people look at, you know, letter to your future, best self, and in that was philanthropy. So when this kind of came together, it just felt really natural. 

Moira: And it sounds natural when you talk about it, I can see that joy and, and hear it in what you’re saying. I kind of suspected you were going to say the, the philanthropy part when we got here, after hearing you talk about what you had added to the, you know, to all of this, I suspected that’s where you were right now, but I think it’s a good reminder to us too, that, that it shifts what what’s satisfying about our coaching practices shifts with time with, with what’s going on in the world with what’s going on with us in our clients. And that it doesn’t always look the same. 

Julie: Now I agree with you a hundred percent. One of the tools that I use with my clients, I call it ingredients of an ideal day. And I try and prompt them to think about if, if they could design a day from beginning to end, what would it include? And those are your ingredients for your recipe. And what I, it has really become a parent as, you know, time passes. And I started to use this tool. Is that your recipe? Every once in a while, changes. 

Moira: Yes. 

Julie: And it, and there are sometimes that it absolutely needs to be tweaked. And sometimes that life throws things at you that you just have to tweak it, but what is your, what are your ingredients, you know, five years ago, or probably not your ingredients for today, and probably won’t be your ingredients in five years. So, yeah, Absolutely. 

Moira: Right. I love that concept of continuing to revisit where it is we want to be and what we need in the daily living to be that our best self and to be who it is we want to be both professionally and personally.  So that, that is a fantastic tool. I love hearing about how you’re using it. That’s amazing. 

Julie: Thank you. 

Moira: So, as we, as you kind of think back, I know that you mentioned at the beginning that you were doing a lot of things intuitively before health and wellness coaching really got to be a profession with really robust trainings available. So, I’m curious to know, as you made that transition, how do you feel like your trainings that you’ve been through have helped you to grow and really get to this point today? 

Julie: Well, I think I approach it from a place of humbleness in that to be a lifelong learner and not to say I’m done learning it ever at any point. So, there is an excitement and the curiosity and worth in having to do your continuing education and, and, you know, constantly trying to improve or add to the aspects of my coaching practice that are important to kind of my niche. And one of them is helping women find the optimal health. And usually for a woman, mom, most of my clients come to me for help sustain lasting weight loss. So, I like to get as much information and stay abreast of the new knowledge.  And, and in honesty, it really has changed in many ways over the last 30 years and what science is bringing forward. So, you know, I would say, stay curious. 

Moira: I love it. Stay curious. That’s one of my favorite words, be curious, just you’re right. If we can continue to learn and really put thought into what we’re learning and what’s most important rather than kind of feeling like there’s 8,000 trainings out there and I should do them all, but really figuring out, you know, what are you working on and growing from there and being very purposeful in choosing those trainings so that as you said, you are helping your clients with what they need, but you’re also satisfying your need to learn and grow and stay excited and implement new tools and techniques into your coaching practice. So, I think it becomes very being very mindful of how you approach those trainings and that continuing ed.  I love continuing ed. Yeah. 

Julie: And there’s, and there’s the world is your oyster in terms of the ability to tap into what piques your interest. One of the, I guess the blessings of the pandemic is how we’ve adapted to virtual interaction and virtual learning. And I still miss terribly the human connection and the energy and of people in a room.  But if you can’t have them, then we’ll just look at the bright side of you can take so many different courses. It’s, it’s exciting in that, in that, in that way, 

Moira: It really is so many more things are opened up to us now that if you couldn’t travel, or you couldn’t do this, or that you couldn’t take the trainings, you couldn’t go learn from this person or hear what they had to say. You were kind of just stuck with what you could get to or where, what was near you, if you weren’t able to go far. 

Julie: Yeah. It is the truth. That really is. 

Moira: Yep. That has been an exciting part. I agree. There have been certainly so many tragedies with the pandemic, but this is one of those bright moments of it that we’d have so much more open to us in terms of learning. 

Julie: I still miss the human connection, 

Moira: Me, too. Going into a room and sitting down and having that. 

Julie: Yep. Yeah. And I guess you go back to kind of that idea of a recipe. One of the things that I absolutely adore doing is teaching group fitness, and that really came to a halt last March, because, and I don’t know that I’ll go back at this point. So, you know, my ingredient in terms of the, the, the interaction, the joyful interaction of people has, has had to shift. I still miss it. Yeah. 

Moira: And you’re still looking, I bet you’re still looking for that, that moment to be able to really reconnect with humans in the same space. And yeah, I think, I think we’ll get there, but I know that I know that on, on the path, you’ll be looking for those little nuggets and places to be able to satisfy that need. 

Julie: Yep. 

Moira: All right. So, you have had just so much great information to share.  I told you one of my favorite words is curious. So, I’m curious to know what is a one last tip that you might offer to either a brand-new health coach or someone who is thinking about becoming a certified health coach? Julie: Oh yeah. The advice I would offer to somebody who is looking into becoming a health coach, Moira: I know tough questions 

Julie: I would say, and this, I think goes for just about anything, get grounded in your values and, and that will lead you. 

Moira: That’s brilliant. Everything comes back to our values and building off of that, doesn’t it? 

Julie: And there’s some great tools out there to help you get grounded in your values. The rest will, will fall into place. 

Moira: I love it. I think you’re absolutely right.  I’m not sure I can build on that. That, that was, that was perfect. I know that it’s such a time that can be filled with hesitancy as you’re just getting started out or deciding if you’re making a career shift into health and wellness and you’re right. Grounding yourself in your values and really making sure that you’re in touch with those and building on that 

Julie: Well, and it goes, I think that if you are grounded in that is that when life throws you curve balls and it gets chaotic, 

Moira: and I was just going to say, you guys can’t see it, but, but Julie has a beautiful chaos sign on her bookshelf behind her. 

Julie: And that you can kind of keep coming back to them as your touch point.  So, cause life is chaotic. As you know, this last 18 months sure has shown us that we can have laid plans and it can go awry. 

Moira: It can, it can. So, grounding in your values. That’s so good, such a good reminder to anyone, even if you’re an experienced health coach or not a health coach at all, that is a good reminder to us all, to really take that time and learn more about ourselves and then move forward from there. So, thank you so much for sharing your words of wisdom. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to sit down and share those experiences that you’ve had and your ideas and tips and wisdom with our coaches now for our listeners. How can we connect with you after the podcast?

Julie: So, if you are interested in joining the walking book club, most of the dialogue takes place in our discussion group on Facebook. So Google the walking book club with Julie Kaminski, or the walking book club, you can not only come to my website; it will probably come up in a link to the Facebook group. And then also you can follow me @thewalkingbookclub on Instagram, and then I’m always welcome new friends at, at Julie Kaminski on Instagram as well. 

Moira: Perfect. And I’ll post all of those links for you in the show notes so that you don’t have to go search if you don’t want to, I’ll make it super easy and put that link in those links in our show notes.  And you can just click, I know that I will be excited to check out the walking book club. It sounds so interesting, and I love that there’s that philanthropy piece to it that just really rounds it out and is a lovely addition. So I want to thank you again, Julie, for sitting down, I look forward to seeing all that’s in store for you and seeing how you continue to grow your walking book club and add to it. I know that you are, you’re an entrepreneur at heart. I can hear it and see it in what you’re doing. And I just look forward to seeing how that continues to grow for you. 

Julie: Well, thank you for having me. It’s always fun to talk about your passion with, with other people who are passionate about the work that they do. So thank you very much for the opportunity. 

Moira: You are welcome. I cannot wait to see everything that comes out of this, and I will post all of these links in our show notes. And I’ll see you back here next week for another podcast.

Would you like to connect with Coach Julie?

Social Media:

Website: juliekaminski.com/walking-book-club/

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