How to Be A Corporate Health & Wellness Coach with Randi Dukoff
Learn how to be a successful health and wellness coach with Randi Dukoff. Find out why she decided to work in corporate wellness.
We’re excited to sit down with Randi Dukoff, CEO at Corporate Wellness Consulting Group and Corporate Wellness Travel Group. As a health coach who specializes in corporate wellness, Randi’s company designs customized wellness programs for businesses that are comprehensive, change lives, make healthy cool, and save money. She also runs a training program to teach other providers how to create successful corporate wellness businesses.
Tell us about yourself and what influenced your decision to become a health coach.
Randi: I’m from New York City and a mom of three amazing kids in their early twenties. I have a finance degree with a psychology minor, and I previously worked as a financial analyst. After having children, I decided I wanted to stay closer to home, set my own hours, and work for myself. So, I reinvented my career and chose a new path.
I attempted to get healthier for 10 years, but when I finally lost the 30 pounds I gained from three pregnancies, it all clicked. I knew what I wanted to do.
How did you make the transition into the health and wellness field?
Randi: Having tried many times to lose weight and get into shape, I was finally able to accomplish my goals by working with a personal trainer. The “if I can do it, anyone can” feeling came over me. I got licensed as a personal trainer. After being in the field for two years, I realized exercise gives a false sense of security to some people. Many people think it gives them license to eat more crap, and they can work it off later.
So, I became certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, a CHEK Level 1 Practitioner, a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 2, a certified Metabolic Typing Advisor, and trained as a Golf Performance Specialist by the CHEK Institute. Later, I went back to school to study the science of the body so I knew how the body worked and not just how to fix it. Lastly, I attended Institute for Integrative Nutrition to learn the business side of health coaching in order to have a systematic plan.
Why did you decide to focus your business on corporate wellness?
Randi: I fell into corporate wellness by accident. I was asked to give a presentation to Sesame Workshop (the parent company of Sesame Street), but my fear took over and I let the opportunity pass me by. One year later I was miraculously asked again to give the same presentation. I said YES, even though I was still terrified and unprepared. From that moment on, I knew that would be my path. My second client was Time Warner Cable, which was a referral from a friend of mine. I quickly realized what an impact I could have on people’s health.
"When someone learns something new that incites change before change is needed, future outcomes can be altered. I know this from personal experience. Corporate wellness programs can save lives."
What is a common misconception providers have about corporate wellness?
Randi: There are a few common misconceptions:
- “Working in corporate wellness is a sell out since I left the corporate world to be a health coach and be my own boss.”
- “Getting corporate wellness clients is impossible for the independent contractor and small business.”
- “I need to low ball my price to get hired.”
- “I don’t know enough or have enough referrals to work in corporate wellness.”
- “Every company can benefit from ‘a program in a box’.”
- “I need to know more before I can begin.” That was me when I started. My best advice is to only enroll in a training program if the the curriculum will move you forward. In other words, stop taking similar programs delivered by different teachers hoping you’ll learn one more thing. Chances are you know enough right now to begin!
How is technology changing and shaping the corporate wellness industry?
Randi: Technology has advanced significantly, allowing corporate wellness providers to offer more customization and accountability touch points to employees and businesses. It’s also making our lives simpler.
Technology can be used to track biometrics, communicate with employees and doctors, plan fitness programs, hold small group video conferences, schedule and prepay for programs, send messages, and create private wellness platforms for each company.
"Technology and science have evolved to the point that a generic corporate wellness program can become personalized to each participant."
What’s one accomplishment from the past few years that you’re particularly proud of?
Randi: I’m proud of quite a few things and can’t narrow it down!
- Being interviewed by Crains Business magazine three times as a corporate wellness provider for best practices.
- Leading corporate wellness break out sessions for Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) at two live conferences.
- Being asked to teach a module for IIN in their Immersion program and being featured in Joshua Rosenthal’s book.
- Founding a leading corporate wellness company with clients across the US.
- Developing a training and certification program four years ago, which teaches health coaches and wellness providers how to create and build their own successful corporate wellness businesses. I spend time each week coaching all of the students. They take the information and develop unique businesses that enable them to create custom programs for each client.
What advice would you give someone in the nutrition and health space that’s considering diving into corporate wellness?
Randi: It took me three years of trial and error, along with sending money down the drain, trying to find my way in this business before I was actually making money. So, for providers interested in corporate wellness, I would say this. Put your fear about working in the field aside and commit to learn the basics. But most importantly, just get out there. Figure out what it is you can offer to the corporate market. Identify your ideal prospect and company size. Learn how to provide more value than they expect. Be genuine and don’t try to teach a topic you don’t know. Be confident and clear when communicating, and start with who you know.
I also recommend that you educate yourself or complete proper training so you find success without years of loss. This is a field that’s still young and evolving. The laws have changed and will continue to change. Companies don’t all come to you with goals of saving money on health insurance premiums; they may have 10 different desired outcomes and reasons for implementing a wellness program.
Additionally, confidence in your skills and business will allow you to think on your feet during a meeting. You’ll be able to understand the unspoken needs of your prospects so you can deliver the pitch and program to solve their need.
What do you think makes a coach successful in this niche?
Randi: A successful coach in this niche is a coach that would have the confidence to hire themselves in a crisis.
Successful coaches have to be passionate and have a story that connects to your audience. A successful coach will be confident in their services and understand the value they bring to the table. Successful coaches embrace technology and stay on top of trends and advances. And they realize they can’t do it all themselves. Sometimes they need to hire a subcontractor for a program, a virtual assistant, or a specialist to help them run their business.
Lastly, you need to realize you can change and impact lives, but you’re also a business owner who must be comfortable talking about money and charging for the value of your services without fear.
"Successful coaches embrace technology and stay on top of trends and advances."
What other providers besides health coaches can succeed in corporate wellness?
Randi: If someone works in the wellness field and knows that they have the ability to make people healthier, stronger, more productive, less stressed, more focused, have better posture, fewer digestive issues, get out of pain, have improved sleep, learn how to schedule self care, show them how to lose weight, or feel happier (just to name a few) then you can work in the corporate wellness field.
The beauty of learning how to bring YOU to employees and companies is this… We all have different skills, trainings, education, likes, and dislikes. Just about anyone certified in an aspect of wellness can be successful. You are all using your skills (as tools) to help people overcome their “health challenges.” In addition to health coaches, I have worked with nutritionists, personal trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, dentists, hydration therapists, FDN practitioners and CHEK practitioners to bring their brilliance to many people.
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