by Jessica McCleskey Hood
When I first started my business back in 2009, I began writing newsletters and blog posts. Well, really, my writing started back at age 9 and in a Hello Kitty journal with lock and key. There was an emotional and spiritual release there that even my childhood self knew to find therapeutic.
My first go at my business was Jessica McCleskey Health Coaching, (now known as Love Your Body Like a Goddess). A real “dazzling” attempt, yet profoundly banal.
I hid in the shadows of the mainstream health crew. I was attempting to fluff myself up to a generic Health Coach whose blog posts touted of not eating refined sugars, waking up early, and consuming green drinks daily. I was playing in the ‘safe’ zone, my comfort zone, a spot where I couldn’t identify myself with greatness nor failure. The color gray, the feeling blah.
Where all of this was good and fine, my business reflected my lack of public personality. I attracted and signed up clients whom I allowed to deplete my senses, pay me very little, and leave me questioning my passion.
Fast-forward a year or two. I was bored, lost, and unhappy with my path. I hired a business coach and started to dive a bit deeper. She had me refine and refine and refine my target market until I realized my market was ME.
You see, leading up until a few years ago and my main reason for entering the wellness world was that I had dealt with eating disorders, yo-yo dieting, pushed the edges of obesity, but I didn’t want anyone to know this. I was scared to write about it and share it with my world, thinking I would be depicted as an unknowledgeable fool.
It was through my blog posts and newsletters that I gently began to expand. Each post meant more freedom and congruency with whom I really was as a coach and my ideal client.
Over the years, I have received countless letters from women all over the world, rejoicing that my authentic and vulnerable letters had touched their being and led them to personal empowerment.
It takes guts to really connect with your market in this way, but connecting deeply with your WHY and directing this personal passion into your newsletters, blog posts, Facebook and Instagram shares, and Twitter tweets does not only draw in the crème-de-la-crème clients, but also taps you in to a well of self-awareness, creativity, and all sorts of empowerment as well as synchronicity!
Here are my top five tips for revealing your true self with your business through writing:
1) Keep Showing Up, Share Who You Are, and Click Send - In the beginning, I hear you, I know it’s super tough to click send. I still recall vividly my first newsletter. I sat on the line with Constant Contact for about an hour. You just must pull the trigger and hit send. Even it’s a once a month thing. I started off with monthly hellos. It can be real plain-jane, but just do it. Whatever you do though, don’t be a robot. People relate best with stories. What section of yours would you like to share this time?
2) Heed Your Muse’s Call for It Is Fleeting - The writing muse can be a true tease. The best posts to share are the ones that come while you are driving, lying in bed at night, or bent over blow-drying your hair. They come even more intensely once you’ve chosen to engage with the first act of its splendid nature. I swear, it’s almost as if the writing muse takes tally of how many times you actually act upon its creative outbursts. The more you do, the more you receive. So, carry a journal or scrap paper and pen...always...or email yourself some memos! You’ll be astounded by your own brilliance.
3) If You’re Speaking to Everyone, You’re Speaking to No One - Huge tip and true story. If you’re attempting to please EVERY single person on your mailing list, you’re likely making a very small contribution to your audience. You know you’re on track when you start receiving unsubscribes and amazing emails of praise all at once. Your ego is going to want to tell you otherwise, but the more you follow that innate voice within and bring it to life on the page, the more you will gather a loyal tribe. A tribe who thrives and falls in love with what you offer and exactly how you offer it.
4) Call In What You Believe In - Stay with me here. Have you ever tried calling in what you believe in while writing to your audience? If you haven’t now IS the time, my friend. Centering prior to writing leads to effortless articles. So, whether it’s a religious figure, your Highest Self, the divine feminine or masculine, Earth energies, pixies, your dog or childhood imaginary friend....or cup of coffee.... call it in. Feel the support by believing in the support, and carry on! It’s pretty magical, if I do say so myself.
5) What Is Your Writing Trying to Tell You about Your Inner World? Where’s Your Next Edge? - Limiting beliefs, caring too much what others think, living more in fear and lack than love and abundance. There is a layer-peeling effect from writing more personably to your tribe, which can be utterly healing on a soul level. Does your writing feel like an older version of yourself or what you are stepping into in life? My writing led me out of the dark. My writing began to dare my mind and spirit to leap larger. In many ways, my writing led me to shed sixty pounds of weight and keep it off for going on five years as well as heal from eating disorders and toxic relationships. I had to share it though to release it. Yes, it feels exceedingly vulnerable, but that’s where the power is. As I showed up in writing, I started to show up in life - with greater courage, trust, intuition, love, and appreciation. It continues to show me the direction of my work. Where can you, in a genuine and uplifting way, share more to step into more via the avenue of your writing?
The daughter of many a medical doctor (of whom the majority studied obstetrics and gynecology), and with an astrological chart full of Cancerian Moon energy, Jessica was bound to find this sacred path of the Goddess and her moon cycle. It was truly only a matter of divine time!
Body image challenges, eating disorders, and pushing the edges of obesity led her to rediscover her Divine Feminine via the studies of yoga, sacred cacao, law of attraction, eating psychology, holistic health coaching, womb blessings and healings, nature and herbs, global adventures and wildly liberating love and abundance.
Jessica started her traditional education at Goucher College receiving a BA in both psychology and art with a cum laude finish. It was here that she was led to study abroad in Siena, Italy for a year; returning over and over again for it fed her soul just so. She then journeyed to The Institute of Integrative Nutrition where she became certified as a Holistic Health Coach, lost 60 pounds of weight, learned to love her body and life, and opened her own practice Love Your Body Like a Goddess. She received her 200-hour RYT under the leadership of John Merideth, of OnlYoga, is a certified Eating Psychology Coach under The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and is Georgia’s first Moon Mother under the training of Miranda Gray. She is also the co-founder of Earth Goddess Retreats which leads extraordinary, mystical retreats for the modern woman looking to ignite and reconnect with her divine spark in awe-inspiring foreign lands, and in the transformative coziness of sacred sisterhood.
One more magical bit, this past year, Jessica’s love of raw cacao led her to the birthing of her raw chocolate line, Moon Cacao! After all, the mystical energy of cacao is what opened her to healing her relationship with her body, her spiritual nature, sensuality and rich heart. She’s known to create and consume it on the daily! She is looking forward to studying Herbal Medicine this March 2016 at Botanologos in Clayton, Georgia to add some mystical bits to her apothecary of healing arts.
Contact Jessica at 770.605.9254 or visit her website