At Freedom we love our users – not just because they use our product, but because they’re cool – cool people working on cool stuff. Academy Award-nominated screenwriters, best-selling authors, editors, designers, star TV actors & writers, academic researchers, explorers, and entrepreneurs – the Freedom community is packed with curious, creative, and efficient go-getters. We love to share their stories and advice, because how better to learn about productivity than from the productive?
This week’s spotlight goes to Blair Badenhop. Blair is the founder of Blair Badenhop, Inc., a brand strategy and copywriting service destination for wellness entrepreneurs. As a certified health coach and former marketing leader at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she has a unique understanding of the wellness landscape and what makes a marketing message powerful and effective. She has supported over 100 coaches and entrepreneurs in creating meaningful and authentic brand identities for new website and program launches. Her clients have included industry leaders like Nitika Chopra, Alexandra Jamieson, Anita Moorjani, Parsley Health, and Pursoma. She’s also the creator of Your Wellness Brand, an online branding course for health coaches.
As a creative, freelancer, and entrepreneur with many roles to juggle, we decided to sit down with Blair and find out more about how she does the work that matters most.
How did you become the founder of your own brand strategy company? What were some of the steps you took to get you there?
It just happened! My background is in marketing and health and wellness. And when I left my fulltime job back in 2014, I played around with different types of consulting: social media, content development, branding, and copywriting. At the same time, I was working as a part-time health coach, and I figured one of the two (consulting or coaching) would start to take off. And I was right. The former, specifically brand consulting and copywriting, quickly became the most abundant in opportunity, and I was having a ton of fun doing it. I decided to choose a niche that was focused on wellness startups and entrepreneurs, and things have just grown tremendously from there. Overall, I trusted my gut and my natural skills through the evolution of my business and things have fallen into place nicely.
As an entrepreneur, how do you stay productive, motivated, and focused?
The number one thing I do to stay on top of every project is creating a prioritized task list. Having total clarity about what I need to get done and by when is absolutely essential. Aside from this, I try to meditate each morning where I get grounded and visualize what I want to accomplish that day. I imagine it feeling easy and flowing. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t, but I do find I handle stress and anxiety better when I’ve taken the time to sit and breath before diving into work. The best way I’ve found to stay focused is to put my phone on airplane mode and set a timer for 25-30 minutes of uninterrupted work time. I also shut down my inbox and use the Freedom app so that I can’t check social media on my computer. This has done wonders for my productivity. As far as motivation goes, I remind myself often that my work matters, that my copywriting is what will allow a business owner to connect more effectively with their client. And since I primarily work with people in the wellness industry, that feels really good.
What is the biggest mistake you have learned from as an entrepreneur and writer?
I’ve learned that ignoring your gut instincts is a bad idea. When I was first starting out, I would say yes to everything, even if it didn’t feel right because who I was I to be choosey. However, every time I took on something that felt “wrong,” I usually regretted it. So today, I always notice how I feel about potential clients on consult calls and ask questions that will help me get a sense of the working relationship we might have. If it doesn’t feel right, I gently turn them down. While it’s not always easy to do this, I find that I feel like I’m honoring my time, energy, and creativity, and my commitment to working with really good, heart-centered people.
What excites you most about your industry?
I just love the creative process. There’s nothing more exciting than helping a client find clarity about their branding, and to help them communicate it in a way they never thought possible. When it comes to being a creative in the health and wellness industry, I love that there are so many different products, services, and people rising up to do great work. It’s so much fun to help to bring their visions to life through copy.
When/where are you most/least productive, and how does this shape your daily working routine?
I find that a good internet connection, an outlet, and a window are really key to my productivity. That usually means I work from my apartment. I’m most productive first thing in the morning, so I usually get started by 9am. The afternoon is when my energy and focus are lowered, so that’s the least productive time of day, although I have powered through on many occasions!
What resources or tools do you use daily and have found most beneficial to your writing/working process?
Turning my phone on airplane mode is a big one for me. I’m always tempted to scroll through Instagram or text messages, so putting a stop to that allows me to focus more. I also obviously love Freedom. This prevents me from procrastinating via Facebook or any other social website. Another trick I learned from a book called The Productivity Journal, is setting a timer for 25-30 minute increments of undisturbed work time. Having that structure really focuses me and I’ve found that I get way more done when I do it. When it comes to writing, I find that having inspirational music playing via Spotify is so helpful in getting me tapped into my creative energy.
What project are you currently most excited about?
I’ve worked with a lot of amazing entrepreneurs, and lately a few of them have been Hay House authors. I feel like I learn so much from my clients and that’s one of the best parts of my job. What I’m most excited about right now, though, is that I launched my first online course back in March and it did really well. It’s called Your Wellness Brand, and it’s an 8-week video training program for health coaches that specifically helps them leverage their unique qualities to create one-of-a-kind brands in the industry. I’m even more excited to relaunch it in 2018.
What are your biggest distractors?
By far, social media. I am constantly checking Instagram in particular. Working on it!
What do you do outside of your work routine that helps you stay productive?
Taking long walks, setting up tea/lunch dates with friends, going to yoga, meditating in the morning–all of these things are forms of self-care that really rejuvenate me. I’m not someone who could ever completely focus on work 24/7 because I like to be happy and appreciate the present moment and the people in my life. Being an entrepreneur is hard, so making sure you do what you need to do to refill your cup is essential.
To learn more about Blair or her brand and copywriting services, visit her site at BlairBadenhop.com.