I am so pleased to introduce Pam Hird, a naturopath, nutritionist, personal trainer, and speaker. She is also a mom, wife, former hockey player, and more. And as you will see below she is a perfect fit for Women Who Rock! series.
I met Pam in a Facebook group for fellow women entrepreneurs. She is physically very far away (I’m in the US, she is in Australia), but crazy enough, we have a very similar story. A debilitating anxiety disorder forced us both to pursue a higher level of education (I did clinical psychology, Pam did naturopathy and nutrition). We both went back to school and struggled with crazy schedules while trying to juggle a family.
Pam was working part-time studying, maintaining a household, playing hockey for the national team, working out, preparing to have children – doing all the things that typically seem like a successful life, but she was struggling quite a bit. She was suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, occasional depression, sleep disorders, adult acne, irritable bowel syndrome, stress, emotional imbalances, and more importantly, she was having a difficult time getting pregnant.
Fast forward 8 years, along with long nights studying to get her Bachelors in various fields of natural medicine together with a giant spoon full of patience and persistence, she can finally say she is living the life she has always wanted. She no longer has a long list of health issues and she was able to finally take control of her health, while supporting her family.
She has a private practice and offers skype and phone consultations and specializes in anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue and sleeping difficulties, hormone health, infertility, eating disorders and weight management.
Tell me about your business: what, why, for how long?
I have been a personal trainer since leaving school (a very long time!) and a naturopath and nutritionist for the past 8 years. Public speaking is my newest baby! All my life I have been involved in hockey and becoming a personal trainer seemed a natural progression for me. However, after a while I realized I needed to offer more so I went and studied to be a naturopath. I really enjoy helping people and seeing them achieve their goals.
Tell me about your family:
I am married with 2 kids, a boy who is almost 4 and a girl who is almost 2.
Tell me more about playing hockey? Field or ice, for how long? Was it the national team? Big lessons?
I started playing field hockey when I was 5 because my siblings did. We travelled across Australia and also internationally because I played field hockey at a state level and I represented Australia for indoor hockey. Playing hockey taught me how to work hard and be disciplined. And because we had team members, I had to learn how to deal with numerous personalities!
How do you balance work, school, and family?
Balance can be very hard some times. My hubby works FIFO (that means Fly in and Fly Out) so I am by myself a lot of the time! Some days there is no balance. However, I try to manage it by dividing up my time every day and sticking to it. I use my business planner for me and it keeps me honest. I also have a business coach who keeps me in check! Of course, things come up and it goes out the window sometimes. However, I’m really conscious of it because otherwise it is my family that suffers.
What does your week schedule typically look like? How much time per week dedicated to your side business?
I work 3 ½ days a week and jam clients, running a business, studying and working on both my businesses into this time. This sometimes also means late nights and doing tasks when my kids are sleeping to get things done.
Describe your start in entrepreneurship.
My start has had its ups and downs. But now, because I already have a following, public speaking has been coming up through my clients’ businesses. However, I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I would like to as I run a busy naturopathic business. I am trying to juggle clients and the day to day running of my business.
The first few clients didn’t come as easily as I had hoped. However, that was because I never told or asked anyone that I actually wanted to come and speak or talk about specific subjects! How was I going to do it if no one knew!??!
So, I started asking my clients and yes, there were plenty of no’s however there was never any harm in asking them. Once I got my elevator pitch figured out and told them how I could benefit them, the speaking engagements have been coming in.
If you are just starting out, ask! Because the worst that could happen is they say no, however you start to practice and refine what you are saying and become better at it. This gives you more confidence to ask and you will find things flow more easily for you.
When did you feel like you’ve made it? Or what’s your definition of success?
Some of my success is defined my how many clients I see or how much money I make. However, I also define it by how much balance I have in my life because that is really important to me so I can be the best naturopath, mum, wife and friend.
How did you handle the slow or disappointing times?
I use my slow and disappointing times to create new content and do tasks that have been pushed to the bottom of the today list! While we all need money coming in, I use it as an opportunity to get everything else taken care of.
What are your business plans & goals for 2018? Anything new and exciting?
My business plans are to take my business online. I want to be able to work from anywhere. This is taking lots of planning and educating my clients that it doesn’t matter where I am, they can still see me. I also want to have more speaking engagements and start travelling with this.
Women are multitaskers-the good, the bad, the ugly-your views and coping method on this issue.
Multi-tasking yes, we all try to do it all at once! I am a list writer and use my business planner to prioritize what needs to be done and when. Not just for my business but also my personal life. This really helps me cope, I would be lost without it!
Does it ever happen that other people in your life don’t go as fast as you do? Or multi-task as well as you? How do you manage that?
I find it really hard to let go and get other people to help me. Partially because they aren’t able to keep up or I find it easier to do it myself. However, I have a couple of core people that I trust and they complement how I work, so it is nice to have that balance. It is also nice to get rid of some business tasks that I don’t enjoy doing!
How do you know you are approaching burnout?
I am well aware of burnout and what the signs and symptoms are. I preach it every day to my clients. I take steps to help nourish my body through good food and supplements. However, for me I know when I am getting there because I get tired and anxious. This is a sign for me to pull back and to really be mindful of not pushing myself.
Does “wanting to do too much” ever affects another side of your life? Like your relationship, parenting style, social life?
Yes, it can really affect many relationships particularly how I parent.
Any words of wisdom on how to manage this?
It’s so important to have boundaries. If I didn’t have boundaries then I would constantly be working. I have even gone as far as writing out every day in 30-minute time slots to schedule my time and what needs to be done. I also found this a helpful exercise to see how much time I am wasting!
Share your biggest downfall-something you are working on changing.
I sometimes put my work before my kids and I feel guilty for doing it.
What’s your biggest strength, superpower?
My biggest strength is my honesty to myself, my clients, my family and friends. If I can’t be honest with myself then how can I be honest with others?
Do you ever find that honesty counts against you? That not everyone is ready to hear the truth?
Absolutely, not everyone is ready for the truth or wants to hear it. I know personally that when people tell me the truth it has been very hard to take, especially when it comes to my work. I try to be tactful however sometimes it doesn’t always work, especially with my friends!
What’s your motivating source, re-charge mechanism: a person, a specific activity, a book, or a quote?
My biggest motivator is me. It sounds weird however, I’m really disciplined, which comes from hockey and playing at a high level. If you aren’t disciplined its harder to succeeded and if you have a setback, I reframe it as a learning curve and it just makes me more motivated to achieve my goals.
Words of wisdom for women who want to do it all: business and family
Believe in yourself because you can do it! Invest in a business coach as it made me realize my strengths and weaknesses and I play to them now. Put boundaries in place this can make or break you. If I didn’t have boundaries in place I would be burnt out and every aspect of my life would suffer. Look after yourself and invest money in your health. Because if you don’t look after you, how are you supposed to look after everyone else in your life whether it be hubby, children, friends and family?
Let’s talk about anxiety from a naturopath’s perspective. What are some of the areas you cover with your clients?
From a naturopathic perspective, it’s not a one size fits all. I take an individual approach. We discuss your symptoms and how it is impacting your life. I also look at your diet and lifestyle. I work to educate my clients because if they want to feel better then they need to make changes. I am realistic in my approach and don’t try to fix everything at once! We make small changes that you can sustain.
What would be some free tips to assist with anxiety?
Know your triggers. Whether it be a certain situation or caffeine, it’s important to identify what they are and put mechanisms in place to help you cope or stop drinking coffee!
Eat a clean and well-balanced diet. Avoid any processed and packaged foods especially if they are high in sugar.
Limit caffeine and alcohol or if they are triggers for you avoid completely.
Make sure you are doing some form of exercise, go for a lower impact form like swimming or walking.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Aim to go to bed before 10 pm every night and get into a regular sleep pattern.
Self-care! Take time out for you and do things you will enjoy or spend it with people you like being around this will help lift your mood and calm you down.
Where can people find you and learn more about you?
My website at https://www.pamhird.com/
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pamhirdnaturopath/
Or please check out my free e-book “all about gut health” available on my homepage. Find out what your gut does, what throws the balance of your gut out, the signs of an unhealthy gut and how you can help your gut.
ABOUT: Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a licensed psychologist with experience and interest in family therapy, stress and anxiety management, emotional intelligence and executive coaching. She is the author of My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution For a Happier Marriage and My Spouse is Different Than Me: How to Mediate Irreconcilable Differences and Grow in Your Marriage. Check out her 5-day free email series, From Emotionally Challenged To Emotionally Savvy for people struggling with emotional availability and lacking a sense of connection. For more information, join her at ruxandralemay.com, a website for people who hate therapy, but still need it!