Taking your health practice online
An interview with Naturopath Katie Barron
In this episode, Angela interviews Naturopath Katie Barron. For years Katie has been embracing telehealth and online service delivery as a part of her health practice to help her reach more clients in the comfort of their homes. She equates her success to having the right people around her and an unwavering focus on what drives her. If you are looking to take your services online this episode will help take the fear and overwhelm out of taking the first step.
Taking your health practice online
An interview with Katie Barron
In this episode, Angela interviews Naturopath Katie Barron who has been embracing telehealth and online service delivery as a part of her health practice to help her reach more clients in the comfort of their homes.
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Angela: Welcome to your life podcast, the place where life becomes that little bit simpler. Welcome to your life podcast. I'm Angela Lockwood. And in this episode, I'm interviewing naturopath and women's health specialist, Katie Byron. Katie has been helping me with my health journey over the last couple of years. And what I have loved watching is the evolution of her business. She has always had this unwavering commitment to always offering a service. In fact, a mantra of how can I be of service has underpinned all of the decisions that has helped her take her health practice, from a one to one model, to an online model, where she can tap into and service many people all at once. So if you are a health professional, wondering how you can take your practice online, this is an episode that you don't want to miss. Katie simplifies the steps that she took, and honestly opens up around some of the challenges that she faced. Enjoy the chat that I have with Katie, and I am sure that you will learn the simple ways that you can grow your business by not doing more, but by doing less. Enjoy. Katie, it is so lovely to have you on your life podcast. Thank you for joining me. Hi, and how are you going? Oh, look, it's so fantastic to have people like yourself on board, because what's happening in the world right now is really, you've been living and breathing this for a while. And I can't wait to jump in and have a chat with you. Not only just about what you do as a naturopath, but how you have taken this online and really shaking, shaking the industry up. Can I say that?
Katie: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I've had a lot of guidance. But um, yeah, it's kind of business as usual for me at the moment apart from holding space for a whole lot of people, which I think we're doing at the moment a little bit away.
Angela: Look, I think we are and I know that in the world of health at the moment, we're so much in the spotlight for all different types of health, not just in our hospitals, which these people are doing phenomenal things in keeping us healthy and safe. But also people like yourself, who are trying to keep that business as usual so that people's health can still be in the spotlight. But before we jump in all of that, I would love for you just to have a little chat about your naturopath. But can you just dispel some of the myths around what being a naturopath is, what do you practice? What are some of the things that you focus on?
Katie: The world is definitely shifting and changing and, and the world of neuropathy is 100% changing to I mean, long ago and I and I'm still think there's probably a few hermits out there about us is that if that people would be scared of us, I've had people ask me, do you drink wine? Do you eat chocolate? Do you do all of these things? So yeah, I'm a human too. And, and basically, you know, the modern natural path is all about supporting the person in the real world to optimize their health. And, you know, and we really do that. We really do that by working with the individual. It's such a fantastic way to really support people and their health, and there is no better time than right now.
Angela: Absolutely. And I love something that you just said about modern neuropathy. Because you're really using very age old principles for health, aren't you? So, you know, I've seen lots of natural paths over my time. And I, I always feel like I'm going back to almost ancient knowledge being applied in the modern day. Is that how it feels for you sometimes in practicing the dropper theory that you're tapping into that sort of knowledge?
Katie: Always, absolutely, always, I mean, Case in point, in this very moment in time with what we're dealing with is that, you know, that the absolute principle of neuropathy is to treat the person as a whole. So that whole idea of holistic health so, you know, when we're looking at someone at the moment, and we're looking, do we need to support their immune system do we need to support their our nervous system, which just about everyone needs that support in that area, you know, his gut healthy issues. So, you know, each different person is going to have a slightly different spin of what they're actually needing at that time.
Angela: I think we need to have a chat another time about all of the amazing knowledge that you have. Because the knowledge I know I've learnt so much from you, in just listening to you and in seeing you myself to help and support my health. So it's, it's Got me. I think I need to get you back. Katie, if that's okay, so we can have a real good chat about how we actually look after ourselves. Oh, that'd be so fun. I'd love to go down. How would that one be? Katie, if it's a very individual approach to looking after people's health and supporting people through their individual journey, can we have a chat about how you have taken that then online? And what's your experience with transitioning from face to face therapy or face to face sessions to being online? Has any of that individualization been lost in doing that?
Katie: Actually, no. And it's, there's a common misconception, especially, it's a very generational thing, which is really, really interesting. Remember that a lot of the people our age and above all have been online is relatively new for us. Whereas the younger generation, they know nothing else. So conversing and relating, and sharing online is just as relevant to these people as it is face to face. So it's been, it's actually been a relatively easy thing to do. We, yeah, it's really his thing. And one of the interesting things is taking my practice online, is that it's actually been, it's opened up a conversation, and I find people are more open, there's something about having a screen, just a little bit of a buffer between you and your client, that makes them kind of go, Oh, I can just let it all hang out, so to speak.
Angela: Wow. Now that is interesting. I've never, I've never thought about that. As you know, I do a lot of my sessions that I have done for probably five or six years online. But I've never thought of it like that, Katie, that it actually so you saying it sort of gives people a little bit of a feeling of protection. So therefore they open up a little bit more? Is that what you mean?
Katie: I definitely think I think that's a huge part of it. I also think about the fact that they're in their own space, a lot of women that I will chat to, I'm in my office, and I'm on my in my at my desk and with all my things around me. But a lot of women will be sitting on the couch, with a cup of tea with their jammies on and they're in there, right, or I'm sitting on their bed, and they're in their own comfort zone. So the minute that you're in your own space you're the king or the queen of your castle, so to speak. So they're actually feeling a little bit more in control of everything.
Angela: Which is so important, particularly when there's so much chaos that's happening in the world, which feels like it never sort of lets up at the moment. That feeling of control over our imagination is really empowering for clients, particularly not just focusing on their health, but because you see them from a psychological point of view as well being that holistic approach to what fits into their life. That feeling safe and feeling in control and feeling like someone's got your back on imagine is really important for people, particularly right now.
Katie: Oh, look, it's absolutely crucial. And, you know, it's a very interesting conversation, because what has been available online makes you more of a service than less. I mean, there are people that, especially at the moment, I mean, everyone's sort of doing the whole self isolation thing. But even before these times, there's people that couldn't leave their homes for health reasons. They're young, they're mums with young kids that can't get that and don't want to take three kids out and wrestle them into the car and out of the car. And, you know, I mean, we've all been there. But I know you've been there. You know, there's all of these, there's all of these people. And you know, if I can have a chat with that mom, while the kids are watching Peppa Pig on their own couch, it's an absolute game changer.
Angela: So Kenny, what made you do this for a couple of years, what made you sort of shift to a lot of online sessions, what was the catalyst for you to go? Actually, I need to do this.
Katie: So my, when I did my personality strengths, my number one strength was impact. And that is it kind of serves me in some ways at the moment, I have to be mindful of it. But a couple of years ago, I had a very, very close friend of mine who was diagnosed with bowel cancer. And she was in London, and she was my age and we're all very shocked that it was just terrific and she was going through the motions of conventional medicine and things like that, but she needed more support. And we just started chatting via Skype. And you know, I've definitely evolved my practices now, but we were chatting about other things and then About half of it. And what I realized was that I could really, really help this woman. And I was not there with her. And I could really, really be of service. And I worked out how I could get the supplements and things like that, that that she could use alongside her chemo and stuff, and radiation and things like that, sent to her, and things just evolved from there, and I and I went, well, if I can help her, I can help heaps of people. And that is why I initially got and I mean, you know, it's a business and everyone's a business to make money. But I, you don't become a naturopath for money.
Angela: But what I love is that you've been able to, you've been able to bring the passion and the love for what you do, and to focus on your strengths to make money from it. Because as we all know, as health professionals, there's no point in only just being a lovely, kind person if you have no money to support your professional development or that you know, to be able to support your own self and grow your business if you need to. Katie, how have you balanced? You know, being the business woman that you are in a very successful business woman with connecting with that impact in you? And keeping connected to the love of what you do as a naturopath? How have you found the balance between the two?
Katie: Actually, I mean, I've worked with business coaches and things like that, which has been an absolute game changer. And if anybody doesn't have one, they need to get one that obviously fits with them and their business model. But I've very quickly learned that every time every offer that I put out, every part of my marketing has to come back to that empath, that strong impact message of how can I be of service? It's my, it's my, it is my mantra with everything that I release?
Angela: And how beautiful for what you do, you know, how can I be of service and I think a lot of health professionals are in a very similar boat doesn't matter who you ask, it's often about, I want to make a difference, or I want to have a positive impact in someone else's life. And I know what I see, particularly in working with a lot of different health professionals, is when you can overcome that mindset of, you know, one to one is the only way to, well, if I can go one to many, then my impact is actually greater. And the ripple effect is quite significantly greater than what it is if it's one on one, for people who are thinking particularly right now that transitioning their health practice in whatever form it is to online. What are some of the stumbling blocks that you had right at the beginning, that you can sort of help people not to do themselves? You know, was there anything that really tripped you up at the beginning?
Katie: Oh, God, okay, definitely. Um, as well as being an empath, I am a perfectionist. So, the thing, that thing that you need to say to yourself, just like if you, you know, a lot of health records are listening, just like you know, if you've got if you've got your person coming in face to face, and they sit down and you're feeling a bit ruffled because you've had a busy morning, the same thing happens online, you will have tick issues, sound will drop in the sound will drop out it will, things will happen. And, you know, so it's about ditching that perfectionism. And when you really come back to the How do I be of service is that if it's not perfect, it's okay. I'm still helping.
Angela: I'm just I'm listening to you going. I could probably take that one on board. You mentioned you're getting a business coach, which is a really interesting concept for health professionals. Because often what we do is we hang out with like minded people and don't wait like health professionals hanging out with health professionals. That concept of connecting him with a business coach, what made you do that? And what were some of the challenges that you had? Or did you have any in the beginning of finding somebody who was right for you?
Katie: I definitely did. I worked with a couple of business coaches. And that's why when I sort of said if you don't have one, get one and make sure they're a good fit. Because I have a couple of business coaches that I worked with and once again, this is that they've been very, very successful and they're very, very good at getting other people off the ground and doing what they want to do. But for me it was this very masculine kind of approach, which kind of quite frankly terrified me and to progress. And then I think I actually found a woman who was just such a great fit she was, she had run a very successful naturopathic practice for a number of years, and then had seen that even though a lot of health practitioners are fantastic being on the toes, so to speak, they were quite frankly, terrible at marketing them. So I started working with her, and it was a really great fit, but kind of like everything, there's always stumbling blocks along the way to getting that good fit. And I wouldn't really have recognized it as such a good fit if I hadn't had the bad fit, if you know what I mean.
Angela: Yeah, absolutely. Because unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who can promise you everything. And it may be who does have the runs on the board, but they're not the right fit for you. And it's almost a little bit ironic, isn't it, that this is what you're doing. You're trying to individualize your service, so that the person gets the best from you. And we need to also apply that directly to business coaches, because not everyone is going to be the best fit for you. Not every strategy is going to be the best fit for you. So how are you? How are you with your online program? So I really love the work that you're doing, and particularly one of your programs where you're helping practitioners with their clinical skills? Can you tell us a little bit about that, because I think it's a really innovative program that you're offering that really, when you think about the ripple effect. It's massive, because you're helping other health practitioners be better health practitioners. So can you tell us a little bit about what you cover and what that's all about.
Katie: So I have been a college lecturer, a naturopath in a naturopathic college for about four or five years, but there's one subject in particular, and it's the physical examination subject. So, you know, it's, it's, um, it's pretty good, it's very rushed, there's only one subject and then and then people fly through their degree and get out. And they were not feeling confident to do physical examinations. So I thought, well, I am confident in this. And so put together a training package. I rolled it out last year, and I did a seven city tour. So I took it around. And it was a weekend workshop. And it was just great to practice. And we came, we learned the theory, and I did the demonstrations and then showed them, then we practiced. So there it was basically all the physical examinations and a natural health practice he needs to know to, to really be able to guide treatment plans, and also identify red flags, which is super important for us to work alongside conventional medicine. So yeah, and then obviously, there were, as with our one on one public clients, there were a lot of people that were messaging me and going, I can't be there, or I've got a sick kid or, or, you know, all of the things that stop you from being somewhere. So I had it filled. And I formulated it into an online package. And once again, when I was putting it together, I came back to that question, how do I be of service? Because at the moment, especially in our industry, there is a lot of content. And there is a lot of really quite heavy sciency stuff, which is fantastic. Don't get me wrong, but it tends to be hours of watching webinars. And I just thought to myself, well, what about if I did something a little bit different, and I put together this training package, but it's a watch and do watching do watch and do so they practice it in there and watch a five minute video demonstration on how to do something so that their next client that they're saying in 15 minutes, they can go ahead and just do it.
Angela: What a fantastic concept, Katie and I really, I really mean like when I actually think about people like yourself who are innovating healthcare, but also providing solutions to problems I really get inspired myself because it's tapping into people like yourself who can really stretch our thinking and get out get ourselves out of our comfort zone because we don't always have to do the same thing day in day out there's always if we just shift you know shift that little bit to the left or the right then our whole practice can be overhauled and I want to thank you so much for for sharing that and I feel like I could speak to you and do a whole podcast the whole episode series just tapping into you Katie, but we will definitely get you back and to share some of your your physical knowledge if that's okay with you. And I'll share that here as well with our listeners. That's, Yeah, that'd be a lot of fun. I'd be keen. It's always fun with you, Katie. It's always fun. Katie, where can people find out more about you? And particularly for health professionals who are wanting and particularly naturopaths, who are wanting to increase their physical skills and their physical examination skills? Where can they jump online and find out about how they can tap into you?
Katie: They can find me at my website. It's Katie baron.com.au. So Katie, I E, ba, double o n. At? Yeah, data.com.au. I've actually got my online training there. And I've also, I just recorded it live last week. But I've just done a webinar on how to do a lot of the physical examinations or in your online consultation. So that you're gathering like it's very, very practical, I will basically tell you how to do your physical exams online.
Angela: Okay, what I'll do is I'll put all the links for everybody. So for our listeners, I'll put the links to all of your programs and websites because I really strongly believe that we are all in this together, we need to look at how we're running our businesses, particularly eye health practices differently. And you've got the runs on the board. You've got the knowledge, the skills, and knowing now that you're an empath, who really hates to be of service. Thank you so much for your time, Katie. And I really love it. I can't wait to see what you do over the next 12 months. I'll be having a lot of fun with it. And I hope you do too. Thanks so much, Katie. Thanks for joining us on the your life podcast. I hope you enjoyed this episode. To find more ways to slow down and simplify your life. Follow the your life podcast on Spotify and iTunes. And let's connect on LinkedIn and Instagram. Just look for Angela Lockwood. Don't forget it's your life. You choose how to live