Scale your local business online and you could reach more people and make a bigger impact. But how do you translate a service-based business to the digital space and build an online empire?
Finding your niche and reaching the right people in a crowded marketplace can be tricky. Here’s how Sukie Baxter found her voice and leveraged the internet to create an international health business.
Sukie is a Posture and Movement Specialist, Founder of Whole Body Revolution® and the Author of Perfect Posture for Life. Read on about her exciting career change, to become an adventurous entrepreneur building an online empire that transforms lives all over the world.
Hello Sukie, can you tell us about Whole Body Revolution?
Whole Body Revolution® offers support and online courses on posture, movement and healthy aging. My mission is helping people frustrated with aches and pains to heal their bodies and move more comfortably so they can do the things they love without physical restrictions.
Unlike conventional methods of pain management and potentially dangerous drugs or invasive surgeries, I take a natural, whole-person approach that addresses pain at the root cause, for lasting relief without scary side-effects.
When did you first know you wanted to get into this line of work?
In reality, this work found me. I never intended to get into physical therapy or medicine. I preferred creative writing to chemistry lab and I have a dual degree in Spanish and Linguistics and formerly worked in technology.
I’ve always been very active. I rowed on the college team and spent years riding in equestrian competitions. But I never felt fully comfortable in my body. I suffered from aching muscles and stiff joints, and struggled with body shame and eating disorders.
When I received posture and movement therapy to help with mobility issues, my body changed. Letting go of muscle tension also made me feel calmer, more centered and more accepting of myself. It was so transformational that when my practitioner mentioned I’d make a great therapist, I applied for training and left my corporate job.
How did you go from training to establishing an international business and publishing your book: Perfect Posture for Life?
After qualifying, I continued mentoring with a senior practitioner while building my own practice. My clients often asked how they could keep their body feeling good on their own, and this question inspired the concept and creation of Whole Body Revolution.
I started blogging, creating YouTube videos and sending newsletters, which connected me to people around the globe and rewarded me with lots of gratitude, as well as more questions that sparked new ideas and ultimately my book.
I have been in and out of coaching programs for over a decade. While it didn’t always seem like it at the time, I’m 100% positive that I would not be where I am today if I had not worked with coaches and mentors.
You travel globally for studies and ongoing research & development, can you tell us more?
As a natural seeker, I often travel to work with international teachers who inspire me. Experiencing new cultures and communities plays a positive influence on me. Your environment shapes you and traveling gives me more opportunities for change and growth. When I jolt myself out of my daily habits, I learn more and more deeply.
Everything connects, so it’s important to study not just the body, but also energy systems, psychology, neurobiology, and physics. Exploring various modalities internationally has helped me to create a unique model that is different from the conventional western medicine framework.
You have successfully created products that provide physical benefits via digital resources. What are the Dos and Donts to make this work?
DO empower your clients. The digital framework allows clients to own the process of transformation. Ultimately, the responsibility of changing a person’s body and life falls on them. Digital products can be very powerful because rather than depending on a practitioner to create results, it’s on the clients to shift their habits.
DON‘T look for perfection in the first version. Your customers will evolve along with you and your business.
DO keep your finger on the pulse. Translating movement work to the digital space can be challenging. Talk to your clients often to stay up-to-date with what’s working and what causes confusion.
DON‘T duplicate another person’s program. Model success but don’t imitate it. It’s tempting to try be like the person who’s already made it work but the world doesn’t need a copy of that business, it needs you to be you.
What part of your business created the biggest accomplishment and return?
Ooh, good question. I always thought hitting monetary milestones would give me a sense of achievement, but reaching my income goal was a bit anti-climactic.
The greatest sense of accomplishment is witnessing the transformation in my clients. I love making a direct and profound impact on people. The hugs and thank-you’s keep me motivated.
Saying what’s really true for me creates the greatest return. I am naturally blunt and people still flinch at my unfiltered honesty, but saying what I really think connects more deeply than saying what I think I’m supposed to.
I accept I may upset a few people, which can be uncomfortable, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay for showing up authentically.
Any special secrets to your success that you’d like to share with us?
Say Yes more. This wasn’t easy at first, being a Meyers-Briggs’ INTP type (the Logician). I naturally see why a situation can go wrong but I learned to say Yes even when it feels uncomfortable or it doesn’t make sense.
This attitude led me on some crazy adventures and onto building a unique expertise in my field: studying movement bathing in geothermal hot springs in Iceland and trauma healing intensives in Spain; “accidentally” adopting and training a wild horse (who taught me more about my work than any course, book or practicum).
My latest Yes will have me going on a two-week river rafting/neurobiology training in the Grand Canyon next July. Wheee!
How do you manage all areas of your business?
Track your time! Certain tasks take way less time than you imagine. The emotional burden we attach to our to-do list can make it seem endless, especially when putting ourselves out there or showing vulnerability.
Tracking your time can also help you assess if someone else can take over some of the tasks. Hire experts where you can or for secondary elements of your business to focus on what you do best or take a rest to reenergize and boost your performance.
Has becoming an entrepreneur in a field of passion provided the Freedom you expected?
Defining freedom is tricky. I used to think of it as checking out with feet up on the beach, sipping a margarita while the money rolled in. However, this vision was born out of misalignment with my work at a time when all I wanted was to escape from it.
Now, on the contrary, I look to go deeper and connect with more people. My business is part of who I am and I do it without thinking. I work harder yet it doesn’t feel like work.
Freedom is therefore about alignment. In business, in your body, in your life. In this sense, I feel totally free.
A journey like yours has sure taught you many lessons. Would you do anything differently?
Yes, I would stop asking for permission to be myself much sooner.
I tried to be many different versions over the years, then I always circled right back to my core self. I still catch myself asking for validation but I’ve learned it’s just easier to be me and stop seeking others’ approval.
I have exciting big visions centered around connecting to more people to help them experience more freedom in their bodies and lives. So stay tuned for updates!
Thank you for all your insights. How can people best connect with you and find out more about your services?
I’d love for you all to connect, here are some useful links for you:
Download a Free guide to releasing muscle tension for more energy, focus and productivity: https://wholebodyrevolution.com/bossbabe