STRIVE FOR SUCCESS
Lorraine is an award winning Exercise Physiologist and we had the chance to sit down and chat with her about her successes. She also shares a few tips on how to strive in a busy lifestyle.
So, you are an Exercise Physiologist. When did you decide that is what you wanted to do?
This is a great first question. Yes, that’s right, I’m an exercise physiologist. I actually never decided that I wanted to be an ‘exercise physiologist’ as it wasn’t really heard of when I was in high school. I was at university when I decided that my dream job would be in the area of cardiovascular health and rehabilitation. After graduation, it took me three years to get there and I’ve been in it for 10 years now. Stoked!
In 2015, you were named Exercise & Sports Science Australia Accredited Exercise Physiologist of the year! How did this come about and what does it mean to you?
Very simple. Are you ready? I opened an email from ESSA about their industry awards read through the application and entered. That’s it. You have to be in to win it. I won it in 2009 so I knew the process. I was strategic about it both times. I threw a line out to my network and I asked a few mentors and friends who know my work, to support my application by nominating me. At the end of the day, the way I see it is that my hard work has been recognised and that is not only a very rewarding experience but also a pretty cool thing to have to my name. It’s like winning an Olympic gold medal in the exercise physiology arena and I am fortunate to have two of them now.
When did you start your own business and how was the process?
Over the years I have been interested in starting my own business and I have started a couple of online business courses to help with this venture. My husband, however, has been in business for over a decade. A year ago we found a way to come together under the same umbrella, even though we are trained in different industries. When we launched our company 12 months ago, everything became streamlined and easier. I am also very fortunate to have a great support network and I undertake business training which I highly recommend all business owners do.
What have you learnt from running your own business? Tell us about some highs and some lows?
You need to work both on and in the business and do at least one thing on or in it every day. Finding that balance between the two can be challenging, albeit sometimes brief periods working on the business can be enough to keep it humming along nicely. Highs? The flexibility of being your own boss and working your own hours. Lows? Constant work that never ends. The key is to control your workload and not let it control you. It can be hard to clock off some days but I’ve learnt to keep strict boundaries to maintain a good work/life balance.
Did you know much about marketing or did you learn on the go?
A bit of both and I’m still learning. Marketing is a complete job in itself so there’s always so much to learn in this area. Being good in business is about becoming a more effective marketer. I learn a lot just by looking at what other successful businesses are doing.
You have created a great e-book series- congrats! What made you decide to do this and tell us about the experience of producing an e-book?
Thanks! Mia, my co-author in the series and I caught up over the phone one day. She said a throwaway line about writing a book together. I didn’t think she was serious when we starting discussing ideas about it. It was only when I got off the phone to her that I thought, I just agreed to what? Then it was all go from there and within two months we published our first book. It wasn’t easy though, rather a tough learning curve for both of us. Our lives were already full and we had no experience in book writing or publishing. But we had each other to go through it together. I once heard someone say “everything is figure-out-able”, and that’s just what we did. Each step of the way we worked everything out and it was such a rewarding feeling when we finished. Tell me about Stand Up for Health. A couple of years ago I came up with the term ‘stand up health’, which has become my unique brand and is a mission that I am very passionate about. I guess it’s like a campaign, or movement, to get people to spend more time on their feet rather than their bottom. It’s also about getting people motivated to be more engaged with their own health care – being your own health advocate. I believe you don’t need to take radical measures to improve your health, it can start with just sitting less, standing more and moving more each and every hour of your waking day. It’s about fun and accountability and a sustainable way of improving one’s health.
What motivates you each day?
I do this by remembering that my life is a gift and my health is a blessing. I’ve had my share of ill health so I find it absolutely wondrous just to wake up healthy, to be able to get out of bed, and eat and work. Do I have tips? Of course I do. I would like to encourage everyone to enjoy the process of getting somewhere. Too often we focus on the end goal and miss the beauty that lies in getting to that place and sometimes, ‘that place’ may be a different or a better place than you first expected.
How do you manage your time?
That is another great question. I plan ahead. I multitask where I can and I know my priorities and when they change, I change the plan. It’s a vicious cycle, but it works and gets things done. I’ve also invested in systems that save me time and money so I can then spend more time doing things that I enjoy.
What advice would you have for a recently graduated Accredited Exercise Physiologist?
Start before you’re ready. When I launched my first website, I didn’t really know what I was doing and I didn’t even have a product to sell. Such was the case for a lot of things I’ve done. There is nothing to be embarrassed about when you’re just starting out, you just need to put yourself out there and get both field and life experience. Find your strengths and discover your passions and start flexing your muscles by immersing yourself in those areas with like-minded people. If you don’t get the job you want straight up, remember that there are alternate pathways and sometimes those detours are like the best amusement park ride. Most of all ENJOY the process of getting to where you want to and be open to change.
An Interview With Lorraine Barwick