Dr. Dawn A. Ross, Ph.D., is a Doctor of Metaphysical Counseling & Master of Spiritual Guide Connectivity. In her practice, she incorporates various methods such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Hypnotherapy, and spiritual/guide work to help clients achieve their goals. We hope you enjoy this interview!
Coaching Focus: Dawn works to help others reach their highest and best good through the practices of Metaphysics. She creates an individual treatment plan for each client and shares tools that they can implement right away to see positive results.
Tell us about your journey as a coach.
During my 15 years working in IT, I had gotten married and divorced. Going through a divorce is never easy on anyone, and I turned to food as a comfort to get through this challenging time, leading me to gain over 80 lbs. After the divorce was finalized, I spent over a year studying different ways to lose weight. After I found a physical way to lose weight and a psychological way to keep it off, I knew I wanted to pursue a future in health and wellness.
While living in Europe, the birthplace of holistic and Western herbalism, I received my ND (Licensed naturopathic doctor). Everything was going well, and I was looking forward to this new journey until I discovered my ND was not transferable in the U.S.
I didn’t want this setback to keep me from achieving my goals. I simultaneously started an IT company to work part-time and spent the rest of my time in school to get my Bachelor’s, Master’s and, eventually, Ph.D. in Metaphysical Counseling. Along the way, I received certifications in holistic life coaching, lifestyle weight management, neurolinguistic programming, EFT, and hypnotherapy, and was ordained as a metaphysical minister.
With each certification, I felt emboldened to start my practice. Slowly but surely, I began taking on clients, giving talks, and hosting retreats around the world. I soon closed down my IT business and worked at my practice full-time. Having spent so many years in IT, I used my tech knowledge to connect with clients virtually and develop sites to promote my work.
Now, more than a decade later, I am proud to have clients all over the world, on every continent (except Antarctica, I haven’t cracked that yet!!). My work has taken me around the world and introduced me to so many exceptional people. I even have clients in countries I have never visited!
Two years in the making, my latest development has been an online academy that allows people to do their own self-help healing at their own pace, in the comfort of their home, or become certified through my life coaching method called Thoughtward™ (It is the combination of Thought and the Forward motion you wish to move in).
I am so grateful to work with people from all walks of life and so many different cultures. I am now happily married with a 6-month-old daughter, two fur babies, and many plans in the works for developing more opportunities to teach and help others.
What advice or perspective might you give to a new coach trying to get their first clients? Any advice they should ignore?
Get out there! Meet people, practice your elevator pitch, and learn how to describe what you do in a quick and concise sentence. Connect with others who are working in a complementary field (acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, reiki, etc) and learn to work together to offer (for free or by donation) informative seminars for their clients and vice versa in order to build up your clients.
What are your thoughts on “choosing a niche” as a coach?
I believe the niche chooses you. You will find that your own unique skills and experiences will guide people to you who will need to work with you based on what you know and what you yourself have survived.
What tools, software, or other resources have you found to be most helpful in running your coaching business?
If you received an extra $10,000 to spend on your business, how would you spend it and why?
If I had an extra $10K, I would spend it all on advertising and marketing, paying someone else to really get the name out there and drive traffic to my sites.
What are some of your favorite affirmations, mantras, thoughts, and/or journal prompts currently? Why?
Affirmations only work if you believe what you are saying.
I know this is a bold statement, but I stand by it. People will tell you if you repeat something over and over enough you will believe it to be true. I agree, but only with the caveat that this will work if you have any small modicum of belief that it might be true.
For example, when I work with clients who are struggling with their weight, I can relate to their struggles from my experience with weight loss. When I was trying to get fit, it was suggested that I look in the mirror, “ignore” my insecure thoughts, and tell myself that I love my body. Just the thought of it at the time either made me want to laugh or vomit. Plenty of people out there reading this will know exactly what I mean!
However, in the world of metaphysics, we do understand that our thoughts create our reality and we need to change our mindset if we are going to change our life. So, with that being said, I learned how to “tweak” the idea of affirmations to get them to work for me and all of my clients.
If there is something you are working towards as a goal and you know you have not gotten there yet, do not say an affirmation implying you have because your body and mind will reject it as B.S. Instead, say it in a way that is true for you from a place of gratitude.
For example, instead of saying, “I love my body and I am fit and healthy,” I would change it slightly to: “I am so grateful that I am learning every day how to love my body wherever I am on the journey,” or, “Each day I am grateful that I see the evidence the efforts I am making are bringing me closer to my goal of health and fitness.”
Now, THOSE statements are ones I could get behind! Same meaning, but one truly resonated with my being rather than feeling like it was a lie I was trying to make myself swallow. Cookies I could swallow easily! Untrue affirmations, not so much.
Do you have any embarrassing (at the time) stories from your work as a coach? Or a time when putting yourself out there really paid off?
When I first started to dip my toes into the wellness industry, I had not yet received my Ph.D. and had no previous experience, so I was very nervous and unsure of myself. Going through such a big life change, I was worried about people heeding my advice and taking me seriously. As expected, my fears and worries quickly proved to be a disastrous combination.
I, much like my clients today, struggled with the guilt of charging for a service that aids in healing and felt insecure about charging appropriately for my services. I remember renting a room for my appointments from a massage therapist who charged me $50 an hour for the room rental. With feelings of insecurity and guilt, I was offering my services for $20/hour for those who said they couldn’t afford more. Unfortunately, this meant I was operating at a loss.
I soon had to learn that my time was valuable. If I didn’t respect what I had to offer and the value of my service, then who would? From there, I restructured my setup and decided to work with the premise I work with today. Those who can pay my fee do, and those who can’t, pay what they can in a way that makes sense for both of us. People who are going into the field of healing need to remember that their time, education, and experience have value. You CAN help everyone you want in this way and never feel guilty. Money only has energy if we assign it one, nothing more and nothing less.
If you could put a message on a huge billboard—getting a message out to millions—what would it say and why?
“Love yourself, allow others to love you, and treat everyone else with love, respect, and empathy.”
Thanks for letting us know!
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