Rachel vs Sandra is a concept that I borrowed from a very smart marketer named Andre Chaperon. He originally used this concept to help him demonstrate two different camps of marketers.
I’m going to model his original piece to clearly demonstrate the two camps (or mindset categories) that holistic health practitioners operate within.
Although Rachel and Sandra are not real, “flesh and blood” people per se, their traits and mindset views are absolutely real and are based on real people.
You’re currently one of them. Which one? Well, you’re going to need to read the rest of the page to discover that for yourself.
But know this — one of them can’t seem to get clients, makes little to no money and doesn’t seem to have a clear direction. The other one is crushing it in both business and life.
That’s me, Rachel (42). I’m a new holistic health coach from Toronto. I’m a mom and I love to learn.
Well, I say I’m a new holistic health coach, but I’ve been out of school for a little over a year now. Wow, I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I graduated! I’ve been trying a couple different things to get clients. I didn’t want to choose a niche because I didn’t want to limit myself. It’s really hard to get clients, but that’s probably because I’m not internet savvy.
I’ll just keep plugging along…
I’m Sandra (47). I’m a Nutritionist from Michigan. I work with pre-menopausal women to balance their hormones using my 7-step nutrition and sleep program. My clients feel thin, grounded, clear and calm after working with me. They say it’s like I gave them their sanity back! Don’t you just love that…
Even though I only graduated a little under a year ago, I was determined to figure out how I could create a program that I could put online to help women all over the world. It was super frustrating at first, but after about 6 months of chipping away I finally got it done.
Oh, I have two kids, too and my husband is an accountant.
I want you to take a minute to read this quote by a very smart man named Paul Arden. He was the creative director for the successful advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi.
It’s worth it. Read what he wrote here:
I’ll circle back to this quote at the end. It will become clear WHY I’ve included it. It’s important… for you.
Now let’s get back to explain the BIG DIFFERENCE between Rachel and Sandra.
You see… I graduated as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in 2006. I remember feeling so professional because I now had letters after my name, R.H.N. For a short while I was so happy living within the holistic bubble, as I now like to affectionately call it.
You know what I’m talking about… the bubble where your eating habits are near perfect (and if they aren’t you hide that fact from your holistic buddies). You shun all non-organic, non-GMO food. You secretly judge others for not living a holistic lifestyle and preach your whole food gospel to anyone who will listen.
While inside the bubble everything feels possible — working with clients, setting your own time schedule, transforming lives and having this amazing life where you make all of your meals from scratch each day.
Or at least that’s how I felt while inside the bubble.
And this is when – without knowing it – I started “operating” as a Rachel.
Hello Rachels Of The World!
I was raring to go… so I rented an office within a chiropractor’s office, ’cause how else was I going to see my client’s?
During my ‘honeymoon’ period as a ‘perfect’ and keen nutritionist I did a lot of “make work”. Since I really had no idea what I was doing I followed the lead of everyone else around me.
I borrowed $5,000 from my dad.
I thought I needed:
- A logo
- A website
- File folders
- Locked filing cabinet
- Invoice book
- To legally incorporate my business immediately
Three things were certain back then:
- I had no idea how to get clients
- I had no idea what to do with the clients once I did get them
- I thought my practice would just take off (because doesn’t everyone want to know how to fix their digestion?)
I followed suit and started to host free seminars. More “make work”. The slides needed to be created. The flyers needed to be created. The handouts needed to be created. The script needed to be created.
And 3 people showed up. One became a client… yippy. 15 hours of work for 1 client and $150.
After that, 1 month went by. 2 months went by. 6 months went by.
I thought I was doing all of the right things:
- I had a professional clinic office
- I had a pretty logo
- I had a website with a very professional about me page
- I offered free consults
- I offered reasonably priced intake sessions
- I never really sold anything
- I held free seminars
- I created a nice looking brochure
- I went to some networking meetings
I was spinning my wheels. I had no idea what I was doing. I was so disappointed. It didn’t feel like I had a real private practice. I felt like a fraud.
I was playing the role of “Nutritionist”. What I had was an expensive hobby, not a business.
My flawed process looked something like this:
- Flawed mindset (not self-identifying as an entrepreneur)
- Follow the herd (do what everyone else is doing even if it’s not working)
- Spend money on things that don’t matter right away – no clarity, no vision, no business model
- Continue to invest time, money and energy into things that aren’t working
- Bubble bursts – lose motivation, belief in myself, faith
No one told me that I was, in fact a business owner and an entrepreneur. I didn’t even know what it meant to be an entrepreneur. So I continued to use this workflow for another couple of months because I didn’t know what else to do.
You don’t know, what you don’t know, right?
Before I knew it, a year had past. I was in about $15,000 in debt. And had nothing to show for it. No results. No clients. No amazing testimonials. No money in the bank. No one supporting me.
My bubble had burst.
I learned the hard way that just because I had letters after my name, well organized intake assessment forms, a nice looking logo and website, and an ‘open’ sign on my clinic door that didn’t mean that clients would be lining up to work with me.
I learned that I actually had no idea how to take my life-changing education and package it in a way that would actually help clients… ’cause all I had done was overwhelm them.
I learned that there was way more to being a nutritionist than simply knowing about nutrition.
But YOU probably know all of this, right? I’m not telling you anything new.
After terminating my clinic rental agreement I went back to the gym where I worked as a personal trainer.
Then I was handed the first of several opportunities that would change the course of my life… I was offered the Nutritionist position at three of the clubs.
Still operating as a “Rachel” I repeated all of the same mistakes. I used the archaic 1:1 client model, sold single sessions, spent way too many hours doing unpaid homework for clients and never bothered to learn how to ‘package, price and sell’ my services.
Until I was given an ultimatum by my sales manager.
“Lori, you suck. You aren’t selling anything. In fact, we have people asking for refunds. This is not acceptable. Why don’t you sell nutrition the same way we sell personal training packages and small group programs? You have 30 days to hit your numbers.”
I held the tears back until she left the room. Then I cried. A lot.
I was done operating as a ‘Rachel’ — although at that point I didn’t yet understand what the difference was between operating as a Rachel vs as a Sandra.
That was 2006 – 2008. A lifetime ago.
I said buh-bye to “Rachel” and found “Sandra” hiding right beneath the surface waiting for the right time to emerge and take over.
Move Over Rachels… The Sandras Are About To Emerge & Transform The World!
A Sandra operates completely different from a Rachel.
Sandra views herself as an entrepreneur first and a health practitioner second. She knows that in order to serve the world with her purpose she has to learn how to startup and grow a service based business… ’cause ya know, she has no prior biz experience.
She doesn’t waste time or money on pursuing any more certifications or professional courses. Sandra knows that even though she doesn’t feel prepared to work with clients yet, the only way to gain confidence is to commit to doing the work and gaining experience.
Sandra’s workflow looks something like this:
- Abundance mindset – stand out in your niche, long term vision, build a real business, have impact
- Chose ONE core business model – position your brand, create scalable revenue streams
- Continually attract the right prospects – consistently market, step outside of your comfort zone, create high value content, convert prospects into clients, work on renewals
- Make consistent money – test/tweak, problems are illusions, turn failure into lessons, learn and grow, good enough mindset
The Sandras in the health industry don’t follow the archaic 1-off business model. She doesn’t create isolated opportunities to be of service and generate revenue.
Sandra focuses on attracting and serving one specific type of clientele and creates programs and services for them only. She starts with one program, works on it until it’s done and then markets and sells it for the next year.
She doesn’t jump ship at the first shiny object to cross her path. She doesn’t jump overboard when something she does doesn’t work out the way she planned. She doesn’t second-guess herself to the point where she abandons her course.
Instead she course-corrects until it’s good enough.
A Sandra understands the value of creating a leveraged program once and then offering it in a variety of formats to serve her niche market. Sandra’s like to only do the work once and benefit from it for years to come.
Sandra builds a business.
She is NOT a healer of all things. She is an expert in one area of health and wellness and works hard to let everyone know it.
The day that I was told that I sucked by my sales manager I changed my mindset from operating as a Rachel to operating as a Sandra.
Although there is no scientific proof, my life changed almost instantly.
I became a CEO instead of ‘just a nutritionist’.
I was determined to figure out a way to transform my 1:1 practice into a scalable business model that would allow me to be at home more WHILE working with more people and making more money.
While I was operating as a Rachel it never occurred to me to maybe, read a book on sales, marketing or how to startup a service based business. As a Sandra I read everything I could get my hands on…… Zig Ziglar was my favorite and most helpful.
As a Sandra I stopped hiding behind the assessment forms and started to demonstrate my expertise through seminars, free talks, demos and anything else I could do to get me in front of more prospects.
I positioned myself as a weight loss expert. The letters after my name never did help me get clients so I started to leave them out.
Consults stopped being called consults and instead they were called Introductory Sessions. I started talking to people about their problems, asking them questions and really listening to what they were saying to see if I could offer value.
No longer was my business about me… woe is me, I can’t get clients, woe is me, no one will pay my fees, woe is me I can’t make money, woe is me I will never make this work.
Listen to me, leave those scarcity minded thoughts to the Rachel’s of the world.
Instead I valued every single person that walked through my door and I made sure that they knew, without a shadow of a doubt that I was there to listen and support them as best as I could regardless of whether they became a client or not.
I took it upon myself to protect and watch over every single person who I came in contact with. Their health was my responsibility and I took that seriously.
Then I made a point of learning how to sell sessions. After all, the personal training department was selling them hand over fist.
Then came the next BIG opportunity that changed the course of my life… I turned my 1:1 weight loss program into a group program.
I AM SANDRA… HEAR ME ROAR!
I took a page out of the group fitness model and tweaked my 1:1 program so that I could facilitate in a group setting with 12 clients.
12 clients in 1 hour. Sweet!
By the end of 2011 I had my group weight loss program in 9 fitness facilities, 1 medical doctor’s office and had licensed it out to 12 nutritionists across Canada. My program was even in Egypt!
Did I know how to create a certification and license program?
But I’m a Sandra… I just figured it out and ran with it.
Then came the third opportunity to change the course of my life… a $20,000 decision.
March 7th 2012 will be a defining day in my life. It’s the day I decided to truly have a NO PLAN B mindset and invested $20,000 of money I didn’t have into a high level mastermind program so that I could learn how to take my business online.
When I say I didn’t have the money I mean it. Those monthly payments were rotated between 3 credit cards until I could pay it off entirely (which I did within 8 months.)
And that brings me to today…
A Rachel stays within her comfortable box, following the same old, same old even though the results are poor.
A Rachel is a “jack of all trades and a master of none”. She’s just a (insert professional title here) with an expensive hobby.
More courses, certifications and doing “busy work” is the answer for a Rachel – -because more courses will give her the confidence she’s lacking and then after she has more letters after her name she’ll be able to stop hiding and playing small.
The famous Internet guru’s love the Rachel’s of the world because they are course collectors… A Rachel buys course after course without ever actually doing any of the work. The guru’s write sales copy directed at a Rachel… they prey on the Rachel’s.
Sandras are different…
A Sandra knows that building a business is process, not just a program or service.
It’s something that gets worked on continuously over many years.
A Sandra understands the dangers of the “I must make money now mentality”.
She understands that the money will come as long as she can stay focused and disciplined on her vision, mission and goals. She avoids the overnight success guru illusion at all costs.
Sandras know that the road to building a business and life of your dreams is not easy, not one little bit. We know that sacrifices will have to be made and that there will be plenty of dark days.
We follow the mantras:
- Good enough.
- Progress, not perfection.
- Take the path of least resistance.
A Sandra focuses on providing real transformative programs for her client’s that extend over the lifetime journey her clients. She values that referrals are her best new client source and that customer service is her #1 priority.
You have Sandras all around you… from the cashier at your grocery store, to the person in your class who is relentless pursuing her dreams, to the newest ‘overnight success’ story of the most recent guru who’s been hustling in the background for the last 20 years.
Get my point?
Not every Rachel or every Sandra is the same……bsome Rachels are very happy complaining, taking no responsibility for their actions and have no plans to change.
These Rachels buy courses and ask for refunds without even doing the work. They are the people who blow up customer service departments with questions that could easily be Googled. They focus on minor, insignificant details and make them the centre of their universe.
While other Rachels are sick of trying so hard without making any traction and are ready to make the shift and transform into a Sandra.
Sandra’s invest in themselves and value the investment as the best one they could make. A Sandra wastes no time and goes right to the source to learn from people who have the success they desire.
A Sandra is ambitious, optimistic and purpose-driven… on a mission to build a business and life of her dreams no matter what.
The most successful Sandra’s are those that:
- Chose to niche down and serve a specific ideal client
- Build a curriculum of programs that serve the ideal clients throughout the lifetime healing journey instead of always chasing down new clients
- Value authentic selling and view it as a disservice not to invite a client into transformation
The best Sandra trait of all is that she doesn’t focus on the money (or lack of) because she is so insanely focused on living her purpose that any problem, fear or challenge becomes a single line item to jump over.
The Sandras of the world recognize that it’s 100% possible to change the world and want to play in the game with those who are already doing it, even if they don’t yet know how (while the Rachel’s sit on the sidelines and watch).
Plus the Sandras know that a nice little side effect of not letting anything stand in your way of living your purpose is a whole crap load of money.
So which one are you?
Are you a Rachel or a Sandra?
If you are currently operating as a Rachel, then you have a decision to make (go back to the top of this article and read the quote again).
And yes, how you operate in this lifetime is definitely a choice.
You have the freedom to choose how your life turns out (99% of the time).
From 2006 – 2008, I operated as a Rachel because I didn’t know any better. But once I knew better I made a decision to stop being a Rachel. Once I transformed into a Sandra I never went back.
It’s paid off in ways I didn’t even know were possible for me. I choose to have a No Plan B mindset. I choose to invest in myself. I choose to take risks. I choose to believe in myself. I choose to overcome all of the mindset monsters that were holding me back.
I choose to live my dreams instead of just dream them, just like a bad-ass Sandra would.
I choose to work hard everyday to do my part to change the world, if only in some small way.
What about you?
I hope you have the guts to be a Sandra! We need more players on our team. We’ve got a BIG job to do.