Tell us a little bit about yourself in 2/3 sentences
My name is Jo Ettles and I am 55 years old. I have published 3 self- help books and I also work as a life and wellness coach. I love coaching but writing is my passion. I have written articles for publications all over the world and last year, some of my work was featured on Deepak Chopra’s Wellness website. I have always admired Deepak Chopra as a spiritual leader, so that was an honour for me personally.
How long have you been an author and wellness coach – which came first?
Just over 10 years ago, I began working as a weight loss coach in a medical and wellness clinic. My role was to assist women to lose weight and make better nutritional choices on a daily basis. It didn’t take me long though to realise that wellness encompasses so much more than just eating a healthy diet and drinking green smoothies. I was working with the most amazing, smart, gifted women who were so focused on what was wrong with them, that they were completely overlooking what was right with them. It saddened me to hear how these incredible women spoke about themselves and I wanted to find a way to reach out to even more women who were struggling with wellness and low self-esteem. It made sense to achieve this goal through writing so the author part evolved naturally from this intention.
Tell us a bit about your books?
My first book called The Shed was published in 2013. The Shed is a book about how the simple act of cleaning up, clearing out and letting go can quite literally open up endless opportunities for a more joyous, peaceful existence.
I have always had an enormous amount of self- belief so I wrote the manuscript for The Shed and then sent it out to a plethora of publishers. I had never written a book before and I remember thinking at the time, who am I to think I could get my writing published? Then I thought, well who am I not to think I could get my work published! I was picked up by a publishing house about 6 months after I began to circulate my work. They loved the simplicity of my writing as well as the message of the book.
The publishers encouraged me to keep writing, so in 2015 I released my second book called – Underneath My Clothes – A woman’s guide to making peace with her body. Underneath my clothes embraces women’s body battles honestly and openly – from food allergies to PMS, from pregnancy to menopause, from yoyo dieting to over indulging. It is a down to earth overview of the struggles many women face on a daily basis to feel really confident in their own skin. This book reminds us that when we honour ourselves completely, it is only then that we can begin to feel light.
My latest book Project Shine is a book for families. It is quite different to my other books but the core message of my writing is always the same. Treat yourself and each other with love, honour and respect. Families have so much to deal with in 2018. It is often the case that parents and kids might all be sharing the same space, but existing in completely different worlds. It is easy to become disconnected and unaware of the problems or challenges that some-one might be experiencing within your family. Project Shine encourages respect, self-love, self- care and the opportunity to connect with one another.
How do you become a wellness coach and what is it you do for people?
I originally trained in nutrition many years ago, but the more I consulted with people, the more I realised that it is important to integrate body, mind, and spirit as one when it comes to wellness. I began to expand my knowledge by learning as much as I could about stress management techniques, breathing techniques, relaxation, energy medicine and anything and everything that could help people holistically. After working in clinics for a number of years and consulting with large numbers of people weekly, I became certified as a coach through an International body for complimentary therapies. This was based on a review of my work over 10 years as well as my success with clients. It has been a very rewarding career path. In regards to what I do for people, I help them to identify what is often blocking them from moving forward enabling them to live their life with joy, purpose and wellness.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
The hardest part for me personally is that I am everything. I am the marketing manager, publicist, social media manager, editor, admin support, author, coach, receptionist and everything in between. Some days, you have to wear so many different hats and although that can make life really varied and interesting, it can be quite exhausting.
What’s the best part about running your own business?
I am totally free to practice what I preach without the restraints of some-one else’s limiting beliefs.
How has digital media change the landscape for your business?
Ten years ago, I only consulted with women in my home town. Nowadays, because of technology, I am coaching people all over the world. That in itself is incredible. We are no longer restricted by location. We can reach out to people in all corners of the globe and make a difference.
What have you learnt from being in business in the digital age?
The digital world is ever changing and it is important to keep up with those changes. I have learnt to invest time and energy into ensuring that I am up to speed with those changes as they happen. I am also very committed to being authentic and real. People everywhere have become more discerning in their relationships with businesses that operate online. I have seen many online businesses focussing on becoming fully automated, which is great, but for me personally, I am committed to connecting with every single person that reaches out to me heart to heart. Despite the convenience of technology, that will never change for me.
Do you have any mentors?
To be honest, I am my own mentor. I know my vision and how I will achieve it and through writing, I am able to consistently keep myself motivated, inspired and uplifted. If I am searching for guidance, I tend to immerse myself in books written by International authors like Caroline Myss, and Brene Brown.
What does life balance mean to you?
For me personally, there are days when I am totally under the pump and then there are times when it is completely the opposite and things slow right down. So instead of trying to slow down the fast times and speed up the slow times, I try to just embrace both and run with life. I embrace the crazy times, rest in the downtimes and do my best to go with the flow whatever that may be. In order to achieve any kind of life balance, I have to feel balanced and well inside. I invest in myself every day, mentally, physically and spiritually. Feeling balanced, calm and peaceful on the inside allows me to flow when things get a little off kilter.
What is your message to women over 40?
There is nothing more important than knowing who you are and what makes you so exquisitely unique and different and then honouring that for a lifetime. Many of us have been shaped and influenced to look, act and be a certain way in order to meet society’s often unrealistic expectations. My message is simple – Invest in yourself and find out who you are on a really deep level. Honour yourself and be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. It doesn’t matter whether you are 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80, keep growing, keep learning and keep loving yourself.
What is inspiring you right now?
I have recently started reading Return To Love by Marianne Williamson. It is a reflection on the principles of a Course in miracles. It is beautifully written and the core message to this book is that love heals everything. Every page in this book inspires me to invest in the power of love.
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