Chloe Prendergast - Coaching, Creativity & Vitality
Chloe Prendergast is a Coach and Creative who is passionate about everyone having access to the practical tools of personal empowerment and authentic professional success. She sees her work as an art form, and people as her medium, and is ultimately driven by the goal of helping everyone live a life of embodied magic and wonder.
Chloe has been working in the positive change industry for 20 years, and over this time has observed many changes, and realities below the surface. This is one aspect we were excited to speak with her about as there are a lot of parallels with the yoga ‘industry’.
Chloe also works in events, and runs many herself - which we’ll get into, as well as providing some insights into planning and promoting a successful event or workshop. We also cover how to stay inspired and manage your energy as a small business owner.
Love club: https://events.humanitix.com/love-club-a-sober-singles-event
Please email us to report any transcription errorsRane Bowen: Welcome to the Flow Artist podcast. I'm your host, Rane Bowen, and I'm thrilled to have you join us today. Together with my co host, Jo Stewart, we speak with extraordinary movers, thinkers and teachers and discover how they find their flow and much, much more. But before we dive in, we want to take a moment to acknowledge and honor the traditional owners of the unceded land where this episode was recorded. The Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our deepest respects to the elders, both past and present, and acknowledge the emerging leaders within their community. Today we are speaking with Chloe Prendergast. Chloe is a coach and creative who is passionate about everyone having access to the practical tools of personal empowerment and authentic professional success. She sees her work as an art form and people as her medium and is ultimately driven by the goal of helping everyone live a life of embodied magic and wonder. Chloe has been working in the positive change industry for 20 years and over this time has observed many changes and realities below the surface. This is one aspect we are excited to speak with her about, as there are a lot of parallels with the yoga industry. Chloe also works in events and runs many herself, which we'll get into. As well as providing some insights into planning and promoting a successful event or workshop, we also cover how to stay inspired and manage your energy as a small business owner. Now, let's get into our conversation with Chloe. All right, Chloe, thank you so much for meeting with us today. It's great to get the chance to speak with you once again. So perhaps you could just start by telling us a little bit about your background and where you grew up.
Chloe Prendergast: Cool, thank you. Yeah, thanks for having me. So I'm Australian. I'm from Melbourne. I grew up down the Bayside area. So lots of going to the beach, lots of barbecues and picnics. Very kind of like normal middle class family life.
Jo Stewart: Awesome. And so what inspired you to start coaching?
Chloe Prendergast: Well, it's pretty interesting because I never really planned to be a coach. It's something that kind of came to me or happened to me. Well, not really happened to me, but came to me. So, yeah, at a young age I was, like, seeing child psychologists. And then in my twenty s, I kind of explored alternative therapies and got into crystals and yoga and all that kind of like hippie stuff. And then in my late twenty s, I was living with a friend and she had gone to this weekend event and she'd come home and said, you should be a life coach. And I was like, what's a life coach? And so we kind of unpacked it, and this was, like, more than 15 years ago, so it wasn't really something that was in the vernacular. People didn't really know what it meant. Like, Anthony Robbins was around and kind of mainstream personal development was around, but people still didn't really know what a coach was. So that kind of set me on my path to, oh, maybe this is something that I want to do.
Jo Stewart: And so for people who still don't really know what a coach is, what does it mean to you?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, it's a good question and one that I continue to ask myself. Yeah, so it's a really broad term these days, so it can be anything from really practical, action based mentoring to really deep healing and emotional work. So I like to think of it in terms of really a great, well rounded coach who could be considered a therapist or a mentor or a teacher or an inspirational figure. Really should cover these kind of, like, four aspects, which is, they're inspiring. They're able to inspire you, which means create the desire to change. They're able to educate you, so teach you something new, show you a better way. They can empower you, so they show you how to take action. Like, it's not just all an internal experience, and they can support you, so they can hold you through the hard stuff, they can help you heal your emotions or try and shift things that are internal.
Jo Stewart: And so what's that looking like for you at the moment? Have you got any events coming up, or what's your business look like these days?
Chloe Prendergast: So I'm always growing and expanding the ways that I work with people. So when I started, it was very much on that education and support side. So a lot of really deep emotional work, and now I'm much more interested and excited in the inspiration and the empowerment. So I really want to help people create better lives, like, people who've done the inner work, but maybe their outer life is a bit of a mess and doesn't match. So I've developed this life design program called Treasure. So we cover off the four essential elements in life, which is time, money, vitality, and love. So that's the big thing that I'm working on at the moment. And then I have a little event called Love Club Coming up, which is my singles event. So that obviously speaks to the love Part. That's the essential element, and it's something that I want to experience myself as well. Like, I've seen a lot of the singles events out there, and they're not really very inspiring. They're not very educational. They're not very empowering and there's not a lot of support. So wanting to bring all those elements into a singles event.
Jo Stewart: So this is a side question, and I have never been on dating apps because it wasn't a thing last time I was single. But from what I've seen online, and especially what I've seen in the bad dates of Melbourne Instagram feed, like, it kind of seems like dating culture can be really disposable in lots of ways. There's just so many people who kind of get ghosted or kind of dismissed over really trivial reasons. And I get that you shouldn't have to put your time and energy into a relationship or a connection to someone that you actually don't feel a connection to, but it seems like super harsh as well. Is this a little bit of a response to some of the more toxic aspects of modern day dating culture, or more just like, oh, this is what I want to see in the world?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, I mean, I think what you're speaking to is really our modern world in general. Like, it's a lot faster. It's very disposable. Our social media is like these tiny little clips and all this bite sized information and everything. Like, I've coined this. I don't know if I coined it, but I'm going to say that I did this phrase, like dirty dopamine. So it's kind of like getting these quick hits of things, but it's not really nourishing or fulfilling or lasting. Yeah. And I think the dating culture is part of that or. Yeah, the dating culture reflects that. Yeah. So my approach is very different, and I think that's why I've talked about the fact that I'm not your typical capitalist coach because I'm not out there trying to crunch the numbers and make the dollars. I really want people to have a holistic, deep, lasting, nourishing experience and. Yeah. So that's what I want to provide for myself and others in the dating space.
Jo Stewart: So this is a bit of a question about the more shadowy realms of, I guess, how a lot of coaches present themselves online versus in real life, because it seems like a lot of what coaching is about, and this is something that I see in the yoga world as well. It's like tools to be real with yourself. But at the same time, often people present a very aspirational view of themselves online because it's almost like they are selling themselves. It's like, oh, you want to be like me? I've got it all together. Like, buy my program I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Chloe Prendergast: Cool. Okay. Yes. So I think the aspirational piece is important because coaches are a personal brand. Like, you are kind of buying to work with that person. And I feel like it did used to be a lot more authentic and a lot more vulnerable and that was really what drew people in. And now, because particularly Instagram, I'm going to speak to Instagram specifically because I feel like that's where my personal block is, is that it's so curated now and it's much more like a magazine experience. And then you've got the reels as well. So you've got people who are kind of presenting as coaches, but really they're just incredible content creators and they're creating like mini movies and then you get behind the scenes of working with them and potentially the goods don't match up. So, yeah, I think the best, but the kind of leaders and coaches and teachers that I resonate with are really well rounded. So they are inspiring. I feel like I'm going to cover these four points a lot, but they are inspiring. They do teach, they do empower and they do support and I think you have to be able to do all of it. And I think it's just about the marketplace becoming more informed and getting out of that kind of dodgy salesman space.
Jo Stewart: And I get that people are there to work on their stuff. So it's not super professional, if you like, say, for me as a yoga teacher, if I just launch into the class by having a bit of a rant about everything that went wrong in my afternoon before the class, that level of reality is not necessarily helpful to other people. So there's definitely a balance of guess being professional but also being authentic.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. And I think that's the difference between you showing up and delivering your service, which is you being a yoga teacher or me being a coach, versus the marketing of the service. Because, yeah, I'm not going to show up to a coaching session and just drop all my stuff or an event or any kind of facilitation. I'm there to be the guide, be the leader, be the shining light and yeah, I think the marketing space is just still really murky and confusing and there's a lot going on. Yeah, some people do just show up in their bright and shiny and then it's not a full, complete picture of who they are.
Rane Bowen: And I guess how do you make that decision of what to and what not to share?
Chloe Prendergast: Okay. Yeah, that's a great question. So I guess because I've been online kind of sharing my journey for about ten years now. And in the beginning, there was a lot of vulnerable sharing, there was a lot of long posts, and this is everything that's going on with me, and I'm swearing and I'm talking about my family, and I think it's a very cathartic phase to go through, and it just seems to be part of the growth of the journey. But now when I share, and again, the social media space has completely changed, and it's all about reels and Instagram and TikTok, and no one wants to read. I mean, I don't even know how many characters that is, but no one wants to read those big, long, kind of like personal manifestos anymore. So now when I do share something that is emotional or vulnerable, I wait until I have kind of finished my own process so it feels complete with me. So I'm not sharing from that place of emotional charge. And then I feel like it's more like a parable, like I'm sharing a life story or a life lesson, rather than like I'm just sharing my feelings.
Rane Bowen: No, that's really nice. And I guess it sort of gels what I'm slowly learning as well, that I guess people love a story and people really engage with stories. So. Yeah, no, that's really useful.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah.
Jo Stewart: There's a phrase that I learned in trauma informed yoga teaching, which is share from the scars, not the wounds.
Chloe Prendergast: Oh, that's beautiful.
Jo Stewart: Because also, if you're doing that very raw unpacking and sharing, especially if it's in person, you don't know what someone was dealing with before they showed up, maybe they're already supporting a lot of vulnerable people in their lives, or maybe they've got their own emotional load and they don't need yours as well.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, absolutely. And I feel like this speaks to one of the shadows of the healing therapy. Positive change space is if you're showing up in that role, you really need to make sure that you've got people and places that are supporting you. So you are doing your work kind of off the stage. You're not processing your stuff out on Facebook or in these public spaces. Like, you're able to have your own safe containers to do your own work, so that when you kind of show back up for your people, it's integrated and complete. And so what does that look like for me? Yeah. So I have my own therapist. I have trusted friends that I can speak to who are kind of in similar places and understand similar values. I continue to grow my skill set and the way that I work in myself.
Jo Stewart: Yeah.
Chloe Prendergast: And even just simple things, like having places in my life where I can just really let go and be myself and not be a coach or be a therapist or be a leader or be an expert. That's why I love going to dance class, because someone else is a teacher and I can just be as loose and floppy as I want, and I have a really nourishing experience. And then I feel restored and I can go back into my life and be like, cool, okay, I can be the boss again.
Jo Stewart: And I guess that's a real body experience. Like, just moving your body gets the endorphins going and, you know, you'll feel good at the end of the session, but it's not something that's coming from your brain and your creativity as much. So if you're feeling a bit depleted in those areas, you can still show up and move and feel better.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, exactly.
Jo Stewart: So I guess this is also kind of a question about feeling good, and it might even come back to the whole idea of sharing authentically, but kind of taking care of yourself. I guess the only times I actually really feel excited about doing online marketing is when I'm already feeling good. Like, when I'm excited about something, it's easy to share. Or when something good has happened, it's easy to share. And I think in every business, there are places where it just feels like there's not a lot of momentum and you might not be feeling a lot of energy. And, you know, like, if your business is you, that you are the one who has to get things rolling again, and often that is putting in that effort to share online. Do you have any tips or strategies to kind of help yourself feel a bit more motivated to kind of get that momentum rolling again?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. Cool. So I feel like, for me, what really works for me and what I like to remember is that when I'm excited about something, it's really easy to market it. And marketing really is just talking about things that you're excited about. And when I think of my business in terms of projects, so this is the thing that's coming up, and this is what I'm excited about. And this is What I'm going to share about, then that kind of builds the momentum in itself. And then when that particular project drops off, I actually have a bit of space. So I kind of work my business in waves, which is not the same as, say, having a yoga studio where you have classes every week no matter what. So you've got to keep that energy moving. Yeah. So if I was in that situation, and obviously I am, from time to time, I actually just kind of tap out. I'm like, you know what? I need to just go for a hike, or I need to go for a drive, or I need to go sailing, or I need to hang out with friends who don't care about all this serious spiritual stuff. I actually have an internal reset, and I get my motivation from somewhere else and my energy, and then I bring that back into my work and my business.
Jo Stewart: It's a really good strategy because often those posts that you make yourself do when you're not inspired about it don't really hit anyway.
Chloe Prendergast: No. Because there's no life force, there's no inspiration. There's no energy in it.
Rane Bowen: Yeah, I guess. How do you keep your spirits up when business is not going so well?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, well, I feel like what I said, that I just go do something else. I just go do something else. It's a really classic NLP principle to just break state and go and reset your energy. And I don't think we're meant to function in this constant forward momentum. Like, we are cyclic. And particularly if you're running your own business or you're a creative entrepreneur, or you're kind of, like, in charge of your own world and your own life, you need the light and the shade. I mean, this is why, in a way, people love nine to five, because it's like, okay, on Monday I do this, on Tuesday I do this, and it's okay because on Friday I can go out and party with my friends. There's something really nice for the nervous system when you know that that's what's happening. And so I try to build that out for myself as well. Like, on this day, I do this, on Sundays, I get to look forward to that. Yeah. So it's more about, I think, to answer your question, it's about having structure and routine so that my energy can work with the structure that I'm creating rather than like, oh, now my energy's dropped and I don't want to do anything. Did that answer your question?
Rane Bowen: Yeah, no. That was great. That was great. I've got another question. It's kind of random and not on our list.
Chloe Prendergast: Great. I love random.
Rane Bowen: I guess, like, in the world of coaching or anywhere, really, who is inspiring you at the moment?
Chloe Prendergast: It's such a great question. I think I said that every time you asked me a question.
Rane Bowen: Makes me feel good about my question.
Chloe Prendergast: All questions are valid. Yeah. So I'm doing a lot of podcasting, like, listening to a lot of podcasts at the moment. And I'm really into people who aren't necessarily in the coaching space, but they still have that kind of, like, life view or philosophy. And I'm a kid of the grew up watching movies. I grew up watching TV, and I'm a storyteller. I love stories. So I'm really into kind of, like Hollywood, not Hollywood, but, yeah, I'm into movies and TV and that sort of culture. So I like armchair experts, which is Dax Shepard, and he's a Hollywood guy. He's married to Kristen Bell. Thank you. But he's really obsessed with his childhood, and he's really obsessed with unpacking other people's childhood as a road to success. And so he interviews incredibly famous people who are really interesting. I really enjoy hearing people's backstories and hearing their motivation and hearing how they got to where they got to. And often you discover that someone who's hyper successful is actually driven by some quite unhealthy things. And so then there's this sense of like, oh, okay, well, I'm not a millionaire, and I don't have an ocean yacht or whatever. I don't have these typical trappings of a successful life, but internally, I'm really solid. So it's nice to have that reference point. Yeah. So I like listening to him. Who else? That's my go to at the moment.
Rane Bowen: Yeah, nice. I'm actually on a similar, I guess, kind of vein. I'm into that Neil Brennan Blocks podcast, and he's a comedian, and he talks to other comedians, some of whom are very famous and successful and talks about their kind of psychological blocks. And, yeah, it's really interesting because a lot of them do seem to be driven by kind of deep wells of insecurity. And that's really interesting. And some of them even come across as being, by their own admission, quite craven in certain ways and kind of petty. So it's really interesting to see that.
Chloe Prendergast: World and see, yeah, that's what I love about. So I was reflecting on this recently that I feel like the podcast space has become the new social media in the sense that when Facebook and Instagram really started, there was so much vulnerability and so much authenticity and so much sharing, and then it kind of got really curated, and it is what it is today, and that's great. But I feel like the podcasts are really this new space where people just reveal themselves and you get these amazing stories from people's lives and, yeah, their motivations and yeah, it's incredible. It's incredible to see how people got to where they got rather than just reading Invanity Fair or Vogue magazine, the polished version. Yeah, the times or whatever their publicist wants the world to know about them.
Jo Stewart: I'm going to add my own current podcast, fave to that list. And it's called Bad Dates by Jamila Jamel. And it's usually comedians and friends of hers, like just telling their worst date stories. And it's like hilarious. But it's very heartfelt as well, because often it is, like, I was really ashamed that I did this for so long. And it's kind of this shared unpacking of that crazy random thing that happened in your life. And it's great.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, really encouraging.
Jo Stewart: A strength workout, too.
Chloe Prendergast: I do my housework, or if I have to go on long drives, I'm like, cool, this podcast goes for 2 hours.
Jo Stewart: That's perfect. I'll have the full emotional journey on the podcast and I'll get to my physical destination. Exactly. So I know that you also work in events and you've been pretty outspoken about the reality and the benefits of having like a secondary income when you're trying to do your own. I don't want to use the word side hustle, but when you're trying to launch a project of your own, and I've got to say, that is something that I often see glossed over in the world of abundance coaching. And it's almost seen as a failure to still have a day job, whereas actually it can often be pretty helpful and a part of reality. Do you want to share your thoughts?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. So I struggled with this for a long time. I felt a lot of shame around. I knew, and I know that I'm an incredible coach because I have hundreds of people I've worked with who have better lives and who I'm grateful and that they tell me that they have these amazing experiences and the evidence is there, like someone's suicidal and then they're not, or someone's on medication, and then they're not, or someone's single, and then the evidence is there. But my business didn't reflect that. And so for a long time, I was like, surely you just have to be good at the thing and then you are good at business. And then I had to learn, oh, they're actually two entirely different skill sets. Being great at business and being great at transformational positive change, it's like two totally different things. So what really helped me change gear or turn the corner was I started to see my coaching as like an art form and started to view myself as an artist or a creative. And you don't judge someone who's an actor, who's also waiting tables. It's just part of the game. And painters, or really anyone who classifies themselves as an artist, a musician, it's just so normal and accepted to have financial support because you need to be able to pay your rent and buy food and just feel safe in your nervous system, feel relaxed. Yeah. And some people are really lucky, and maybe they have a partner who supports them, or maybe someone dies, which isn't lucky in itself, but if they leave you some money, then great, or some other windfall. People need to be supported in some kind of way if they're going to grow a business and put their life force and their creativity out into the world. And so, yeah, so basically the short answer is, I think it's amazing and it's important, and there's so many more people doing it than we think. And this, I guess, loops back to the question around, like, oh, everyone's online and they're being so shiny and inspirational, and look at me on my laptop in my bikini in Bali. But maybe their boyfriend paid their rent that month, or maybe their parents have funded something, or maybe they get government support, or, yeah, maybe they worked really hard in them. I heard this story recently of someone who was like, yeah, I just worked in the mines for six months, and now I can travel and have my beautiful, inspirational life for six months. We don't know what's going on behind the scenes unless people tell us. So I guess one of the things I'm really passionate about is just being honest about all of it. Yeah.
Jo Stewart: Someone who, I watch her YouTube videos and she's kind of like a van lifer and now builds a cottage.
Chloe Prendergast: I want a van life.
Jo Stewart: Well, a lot of people asked her how she afforded it, and she's like, oh, I sell my eggs.
Chloe Prendergast: Wow. Oh, my God. I fully missed the window on that one. I would have sold my eggs.
Jo Stewart: I think it's an America only thing.
Chloe Prendergast: Wow. It is an America thing. Yeah, you're right. They wouldn't do that here.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, no, I actually think it's illegal to sell your eggs in Australia. I think it can only be, like, altruistic thing. There's a lot of people who go.
Chloe Prendergast: To Asia to do a whole. There's a whole side hustle here I hadn't even considered. No shame on anyone who sells their eggs. Whatever you need to do.
Jo Stewart: She's helping people. Yeah.
Rane Bowen: So I guess. How do you know when it's time to really just concentrate on that quotation mark, side hustle or go all in?
Chloe Prendergast: I don't really know the answer to that question because for me it's like riding the waves. Like it's forever been a riding of the wave. And sometimes I can make all my money through coaching or coaching related projects and collaborations, and sometimes I'm not in the Industry at all and I'm working full time in events. So I think it's just about trusting yourself and trusting your path and really trying to block out the noise of what everyone else is doing or where you think you should be on your journey. Because what does success even look like or mean anyway, is going all in success. But what if it smashes your nervous system and then you have to call a friend or your parents for money? It's like, what does success really look like and what does going all in really look like? And what's the outcome that you want from yeah, that was a long Winded answer.
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Jo Stewart: Yeah, so I guess this is just swinging back to Financial realities. Like another thing that I see. I see this in the yoga world, and I think I see it even more in the Coaching world where sometimes trainings are offered with a lifestyle promise. Like do this Training, you'll have this Financial freedom, you'll get to do what you love and never work in a day of your life. And a lot of the Time there actually isn't a Pathway from doing that kind of a training to an actual job. So I guess in a good training part of it is also training you how to generate your own work and to find those opportunities and maybe create them if they don't already exist. But a lot of people are kind of feeling like they're left a bit high and dry where you've invested money in this education and some of it is working on yourself. But also there was a promise of a career afterwards. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, cool. I feel like I have so much to say about this. I could do like a whole podcast series. Yeah. So when I firstly officially trained as a life coach, I'd already done a lot of my own personal work and I'd kind of dabbled in different courses and different modalities and so I had a level of my own experience. But this was the first time I was like, cool, I'm going to study life coaching after the story I shared earlier and it was absolutely part of what made me say yes was because their branding was all around. Like, make a quarter of a million dollars in your first year as a coach. And this was 15 years ago. And I was like, that sounds amazing. And it actually didn't take me long. Like within the first year I was like, oh my God, they're just selling from the stage and I have to be really careful. So, yeah, I learned to be quite cynical about that style of marketing and those promises very early on, but I know it continues on today. So, yeah, I think what's important is so the journey, which is another modality that I'm trained in, and I actually worked in their business for quite a few years and they come from more of a yogic philosophy and standpoint and it's a really deep, emotional, transformational process that takes a couple of hours and you train as a practitioner, but then you have to do like 100 hours of sessions and so you have to do all this work to really prove that you can do the skill. And then there's a network of currently working practitioners that you can apprentice under. So there's kind of like a network already out there. Yeah, but I mean, I'm not actually answering your question directly. I think people just need to learn that just because you train in a modality doesn't equal a job unless you're in some kind of industry like a physio or something, where you can go and work in a clinic. Yeah. You still have to get your own clients and you still have to build a business. Yeah, I think it's just about honesty in the industry, really. Rather than puffed out promises the place that I worked for, sorry, the place where I trained, their market was mostly corporates. And this is something I've been reflecting on a lot recently, is price points. It's really easy to set a high price point if you've come from a corporate space and you and everyone you know is on three hundred K a year, it would be really easy to be like, hey, I'm trying out this new thing and it's $500. They're like, oh, cool. That's what I usually spend on Friday lunch. So it's all about the reality of where someone's at when they start to do the thing. Whereas if you have someone who's like straight out of high school or maybe they've only ever had a kind of low wage job, it's going to be a real journey to get to that price point.
Jo Stewart: Or if the population that you're working with will never have $500 to do a transformational workshop.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, you've got to journey through the markets. Yeah.
Jo Stewart: And so say you've done a training like that and it hasn't led to any work. Do you have any insights into maybe parlaying some of the skills that you've learned into other industries where maybe it is a bit easier to find a job versus creating all of your own opportunities?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, I think any sort of transformational work that you do is going to have value out in the world and any other job that you go into. So, I mean, it's essentially sort of soft skills. So any kind of manager role, any kind of leadership role and any kind of industry that you're interested in, I think it's important for people to remember, oh, I'm going to be doing this thing like three to five days a week for the rest of my adult life. Why don't I choose an area that I like to be in? Like an industry that I like to be in. Yeah. And that's why I also say I feel like in a way, coaching will die out eventually because they'll just start teaching these things in school, like emotional intelligence, mindset training, how to take inspired action, how to be present and support each other. Imagine if they taught all that in school. There would be no coaches.
Jo Stewart: Well, we'll still have late stage capitalism and global collapse to deal with. Probably need some support.
Chloe Prendergast: Well, I'm forever the optimist and I.
Rane Bowen: Feel like these problems aren't exclusive to life coaching. I mean, surely in the yoga world.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, totally.
Rane Bowen: Many studios are teaching courses that there simply aren't enough jobs to maybe one.
Jo Stewart: Person who does that course can end up teaching at that studio.
Rane Bowen: Yeah, same thing in software development courses. A lot of people perhaps doing trainings that won't even cover what you need to know in the real world.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, that's really interesting.
Jo Stewart: And I guess maybe this is something to look for, like when you're choosing a training, if you know that you'll need to use this for work, make sure that that is actually covered in the training. Like not just making a mood board, but what are the steps to take it into reality?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. And just the understanding that you're still going to have to have an entrepreneurial spirit. You're essentially a freelancer or a contractor. It's realizing that you're still going to have to show up and kind of create your own business, create your own world. Unless you do some kind of yoga training where you then get to go teach in the studio. Like how amazing.
Jo Stewart: Oh, you would never get a full time teaching amount of classes in that studio you did your training at. When you finished the training, though, you would need to have another job while you build your way up to that. And then for some people as well, the amount of classes that you need to teach for it to be your sole income is just too many and you'll stop loving it and you'll just feel burnt out.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. And there's very successful coaches I know. And yes, they might have a program or be doing something online and they're making money, but they still have investments or supplementary income. It's an interesting question. Or they have a really enormous machine behind them, a sales and marketing machine.
Jo Stewart: So this is taking us right into making our own opportunities. I'd really like to pick your brain on workshops and events. So say I've had an idea, like what's the first step?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, I guess the way that I work is very intuitive and I run things or I create things, like when I get the idea. So it's about giving it some form and some function and it's about who it's for. Because I'm so kind of like people and community driven. A lot of the times I design a workshop or an event around who it's for and map it out that way.
Jo Stewart: So what does that look like? You kind of write a list or you like.
Chloe Prendergast: I feel like I can't answer this series of questions.
Jo Stewart: Yeah. But literally, what do you do when you first have an idea? Do you start posting about it first or do you kind of make a page?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, I usually make like a canva banner. So I make a canva banner for a Facebook event. I talk to people about it to see if there's any energy or interest. Yeah. So I guess I have the idea and I sit on it for a while and I talk to trusted people. I don't talk to someone who's going to be like, that's stupid. But, yeah, I kind of float the idea with a few different people. Yeah. Then I might make a canva banner and then very intuitively I will just post it when I feel like I'm ready. And you need a venue. Yeah. So the thing about events is it's all about the venue because it's always going to be your highest cost and. Yeah. Until you find a venue that you feel comfortable investing in. Yeah, I wouldn't really progress with anything ever.
Jo Stewart: And so you generally have to pay a deposit. Right, once you've chosen your venue.
Chloe Prendergast: No, not necessarily.
Jo Stewart: Yeah. And so you kind of pick it on, like, okay, I feel like this is something that I could easily, I know ten people who'll probably come to this. So this is the size venue that I need, or this is how much money I want to make from this for it to feel viable. So this means I need this many people or how do you kind of navigate that side of things?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, I mean, it's different every time. Yeah. But you just work backwards from the cost of the venue generally.
Jo Stewart: And do you tend to base in, this is going to take me this many hours of my time and for it to feel worthwhile, I want to get a certain amount of money for that. Or are you kind of like, oh, that's the, like.
Chloe Prendergast: No, I go more on, like, market rate. Yeah.
Rane Bowen: Nice. That's interesting because I've been learning about sort of product development and the software space, the solopreneur journey, they call it. And. Yeah, that idea of sort of idea validation before you sort of really start to go to town is really important, though. There's other schools of thought where you're just supposed to build the product, put it out there, and then just sort of talk to your users. So I guess it's sort of like.
Chloe Prendergast: Talk them into it.
Rane Bowen: Well, no, actually you get a core group of users and then see how they actually start to use it and then build more features from there. So, yeah, just sort of. Sorry, a bit of a sidetrack there, but I find that interesting.
Chloe Prendergast: That's good because that's kind of how I create things and why I'm finding answering your questions really hard, because I do create things in a kind of like, kinesthetic in real time way. And I do respond to what people want, what works. Yeah. What's already out there, what I'm excited by. Yeah. I feel like I'm one of those people who's very good at editing and refining a blank piece of paper is, like, the most scary thing to me ever. And I feel like your questions are a bit too blank page. Yeah.
Jo Stewart: And I guess I'm trying to have that mindset of someone who maybe they haven't run an event before. So it's like, what do I start with? I have this blank page. Do I do my budget first? Do I choose my venue first? Do I start reaching out to people and seeing this is something people would be interested in first?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah.
Rane Bowen: Because I get there are those two approaches where you can sort of have your idea and validate, try and get responsive, but you don't really even know until you put it out there.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. Because it's a living, breathing thing. And then that's when you go back to the idea of being an artist. And this is my art, and there is no perfect way to do something. Yeah. For a really long time, I've wanted to create an events made easy little course, and it's just like, all the information is there, and then based on where someone's at or the questions that they have, they can go to the resource. Yeah. It's not a step by step process. It's more like, this is the Bible. This is my events Bible.
Rane Bowen: Yeah.
Jo Stewart: Are there any gems that you could pull out that you've learned along the way that you're like, oh, this is a game changer.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. So it's about pacing. So I think one of the reasons that I have a real knack for events is, like, I'm really good with pacing and spacing and people and. Yeah. Like, a really simple, practical piece of information is people generally can't be present and dialed in for more than 90 minutes. So my coaching sessions are always 90 minutes. There might be a bit of a buffer either side, but the work happens in that 90 minutes container. And I think where people really trip themselves up is they don't know how to create pacing and timing in an event. Like, you could have a seven day training, but as long as you're doing it in those blocks of 90 minutes, rather than trying to make things too long, because people start to vague out, tap out, get distracted, they max out. Yeah. So building things around 90 minutes blocks is definitely one of my top tips.
Jo Stewart: And have you come across any, like, the flip side of what you just said might be that any real what not to do, maybe a lesson you've learned for yourself or something else that you've seen in an event that you went to that was just like, oh, that didn't work for them and that's not going to work for anyone. Like, I'm filing that away as another gem of do not do this.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, I think it's about picking your team because events is not just a solo operation. And even when you look at people like Taylor Swift or Beyonce, there is literally thousands of people that make that happen, those shows happen, that career happen. It's not a solo endeavor. So, yeah, it's like, about picking your team and just don't work with people that you don't want to work with.
Jo Stewart: I guess, as well. Maybe part of that is knowing when you actually do need to work with someone else, even if it feels like a little bit more scary financially up front. Like, I know of yoga teachers who've, say, taught weekend workshops who have tried to do the food and the teaching themselves. And normally the yoga class is right before the food. So it was very intense energy wise, and just meant people have to wait around for ages. So that would be like a really simple one of like, oh, if you're doing a weekend retreat, you're going to need someone to help you with food, at least.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, it reminds me of. So one of the pieces that's really important is if you're going to be in the channel. So if you're the facilitator or the presenter, then, yeah, you need someone else holding the energy, holding the space. Yeah. When I design events or transformational experiences, there's, like, the transmission, there's the person who's bringing the magic, bringing the experience, and then there's the container, which is like the space that everyone's in, but also the people that are making all the behind the scenes happen. And then you've got your pathway, which is like the journey that you're wanting to take people on. So, yeah, don't try and be the facilitator and the Sage person.
Jo Stewart: I think I saw something else that you did, like, in a lead up to another event where you're like, always test your technology first, but you do, like a dry run.
Chloe Prendergast: Yes. Well, that was when I did an online event. And so because I was so comfortable with in person eVents, I was like, oh, I'm going to nail this. This is going to be fine. And Zoom had actually changed a lot from when I had last used it in a group capacity. And yeah, I just fumbled so hard, like the sound and the sharing of the screens and, yeah, that was a really good lesson of like, yeah, do a test run.
Jo Stewart: The other thing that I've learned about teaching on Zoom as well is, okay, you've got your own technology that you can struggle with, but it's super hard to help other people if they're struggling with their technology. And I think one training course that I saw do this really well was the accessible yoga, online training, and they had a dedicated support person. So if you were having Zoom issues, you just messaged that person and they could help to sort you out versus trying to talk to the teacher who maybe you can't hear or something, or they'll have their phone switched off. You can't get in touch with them that way. So that was a really good example of like, oh, it really makes sense to have another person just to help people with technology.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, absolutely. There's so many different roles in delivering a great experience or a great service. Yeah, another piece of that is just setting people up with really great welcome emails and welcome letters. So when people do coaching with me, I used to do this as an email and I actually moved it to a video because it meant that we already had a bit of rapport, but I basically just walked them through. Like, make sure you're somewhere quiet, please be on a computer, not be on your phone. Yeah, go to the toilet beforehand. Like all that really practical set up stuff that if you're used to the transformational space, you already know all that stuff. But people coming into it fresh, they don't know it. And yes, the same with events like a beautiful little email that's like, you can park here and eat dinner beforehand and bring something warm to wear. And it's just that nurturing and that support that makes people feel relaxed so that they can really be present for The 90 minutes.
Jo Stewart: I will say as well, no matter how beautifully you write that email, be prepared for people to not read it and to be late because they didn't know where to park.
Chloe Prendergast: Yes, that's true, that's true. So you have a beautiful welcome fairy at the door.
Rane Bowen: So apologies if we've already asked this question, but how have you noticed the coaching industry change since when you began?
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, cool. Well, the biggest shift that I've seen beyond the way that people market is, it's really become about online education. So, yeah, a lot of people who, I mean, to me, a coach is someone who facilitates positive change on whatever level. And yes, that can happen through education, but I think that there's a lot of people out there who are just educating. They're just sharing information and knowledge, and that doesn't necessarily on its own equal positive change. So, yeah, it's just a really busy marketplace now. And that's great because it means there's more opportunity for more people and it's so much more mainstream. Like, I don't have to explain to my mom anymore, like, what a life coach is and you don't have those really conservative people making fun of you anymore. It's really normal to talk about your feelings or strive to be better, and the industry has provided that. But, yeah, I think the major shift is that there's just such a push into, like, I'm going to make up a stash, but it's something like a billion dollars a minute or a billion dollars a day or a billion dollars a year. I don't know which one of those is correct, but yeah. So coaching has really moved into online education.
Rane Bowen: Yeah. One thing I noticed when I was working at the separation Guide, one of the biggest growth areas we had there was in divorce coaching. That was one of our most popular categories.
Jo Stewart: And so just in case people have no idea, is a divorce coach for someone, like, if you have a really complicated situation, you need a lawyer, or is a divorce coach just to help you through the process, or is it to help you through the emotions attached to the process?
Rane Bowen: Both. And I guess there were ones that were more slightly towards the legal end. We had one who was specifically for working with men, and he was the divorced cowboy. Yeah, I know. It was pretty funny. And there was a woman who's also a psychologist who actually worked more in high conflict situations. So, yeah, it's quite interesting.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, I mean, I think that's a good highlight of where the industry is going as well, is it's more about those niches or areas of interest. So it's like, oh, well, we can have a coach now that's specific for divorce rather than just this overarching title of life coach.
Jo Stewart: And I guess that comes back to that other question of like, oh, I wanted to change my life and leave my current career that wasn't fulfilling me and become a coach, but I'm finishing the course. I've got no clients. I don't know what to do. You could look back to the industry you're working in before and maybe go back into it with the knowledge that you had and the new knowledge and kind of be more about supporting people versus whatever you're doing before. Because I know people who, like friends of mine who have kind of got to management level, and one of the perks is you get an executive coach to help you through navigating that.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, exactly. And I think one of the other things about the industry that's different now is there's a lot of people kind of in the industry supporting different parts of the coaching journey. So, yeah, maybe they're helping you with your social media, or maybe they're like a business coach, or maybe they're going to do your graphics, or maybe they are like a deep emotional support person. There's so many different pieces of the journey now.
Jo Stewart: I think that can be really positive, but I think I can also see that as being a little bit of a pyramid kind of a situation.
Chloe Prendergast: Absolutely is. Yeah, that was one of the things I used to say when I was going through my cynical phase is I left, like, in 2018, there was a few kind of messy things that happened in my professional life, and I just left. I was like, oh, I'm done with this. And, yeah, I used to say it's a pyramid scheme. Like, coaching is a pyramid scheme because it's coaches coaching coaches, coaching coaches, coaching coaches, and that is still happening. But I think it's just once I stepped back and took a few years out and then returned through this filter of like, well, it's just my art form and I'm an artist and I'm a creative, and this is what I love to do and I know I'm good at it and I know I'm helping people, so I'm just going to let all that other stuff go. Yeah.
Jo Stewart: Like, oh, my business is this size, so rather than hiring someone expensive to make it grow to this size, I'm just going to get income from something else.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah. And there's a lot of behind the scenes talk, and there's a few people out there saying this publicly, but just because a business is like a million dollars a year or a million dollars a month or all these crazy numbers, there's so much money required to create that result because you've got your ads and you've got your team and there's just so much financial input to create the revenue. So it's not actually, oh, that's what our profit is. It's like, oh, that's just how much we make each month to keep this machine moving. Yeah.
Jo Stewart: And I know that you've seen businesses that outwardly looked really successful and were big, but because they were on that kind of growth mindset, build the team rent this expensive place like one bad month and it just all falls over.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, and that's just business in general. That's not unique to the coaching space, that's just the realities of business. And it gets exciting and you're making sales and you're on the crest of the wave and you just grow, grow, grow. And unless you're building structures underneath you, it's going to crash.
Jo Stewart: Yeah. And I feel like that growth mindset in some ways is positive and in some ways is like a really toxic part of capitalism because our planet can't sustain continual growth and you as one person can't sustain continual growth. Like you will definitely reach a point where you just can't keep growing at that rate because that's just not how life works. It's like you're talking before there'll be a peak and then there'll be a trough. And I guess as you grow as a business, part of that is giving yourself a bigger buffer should you have a bad month or a pandemic.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, and that's just financial education, that's just being healthy around your finances. And yeah, it is about seeing it as being cyclic and that real progress, that progress no matter what. Yes, it's capitalism and it's also how we are educated. Like our schooling system is like progress and grow, progress and grow, progress and grow. And then after twelve years of that of course it's going to feel natural that oh, the way to succeed is just to keep growing and getting better. But yeah, I think we're slowly breaking out of that mindset and the return to the feminine and the return to caring about the earth and yeah, just seeing that everything does go in cycles and you're going to have your summer in your business and you're going to have your winter.
Rane Bowen: Nice. I guess we've probably touched on a lot of these points already, but if you could distill everything down to one core essence of everything that you've learned and everything that you love to share with the world, what do you think.
Chloe Prendergast: That one thing would be so daunting? Just condense 45 years into one or two buzzwords. Yeah, I mean I have this kind of philosophy that I'm really interested and excited about at the moment, which is like what I'm calling my four favorite life hacks, which is really about learning how to feel, learning how to think, learning how to take inspired action and then learning how to surrender to the mystery. And I feel really happy that I've progressed through all of that and I'm mostly able to hang out in the mystery now and really see my life as a miracle or a piece of art or like a day at the carnival. So yeah, fun, creativity, connection and magic.
Rane Bowen: Nice. Beautiful. Well, thank you so much for speaking with us today.
Jo Stewart: Thanks for everything you've shared.
Chloe Prendergast: Yeah, thank you for having me. It's been really fun.
Jo Stewart: Oh my gosh. And thank you for bringing us cake.
Chloe Prendergast: That is also part of my life philosophy to bring cake.
Rane Bowen: Yeah, nice. Thank you so much for tuning in to our podcast. We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Chloe. We'll include a link to her upcoming Sober singles event, Love Club in our show notes. For more content and updates, you can find me on Instagram as Raneloves yoga and Jo can be found at Garden of Yoga. We love connecting with our listeners, so don't hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts. We'd like to express our gratitude to Ghostsol for generously granting us permission to use their track Baby robots as our theme song. Be sure to check out ghostsoul. bandcamp.com to discover more of their awesome music. A special shout out goes to our Patreon supporters. Your continued support means the world to us and we are incredibly grateful. By joining our Patreon Club for as little as $1 us a month, you can help us cover the cost of editing and producing the podcast. If Patreon isn't your thing, there are other ways you can support us. Simply sharing this episode on social media, subscribing to us on platforms like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or even just reaching out to let us know your thoughts and feedback means the world to us once again. Thank you for spending your precious time with us. We appreciate you more than words can ever express here. Aroha nui maua Kia koutou Katoa sending you big love.