My Toronto Star Turning Point Feature appeared in the Star this Thursday – I wanted to share it here for those of you who don’t get the paper!
Judy Steed Special to the Star
Alexandria Barker was impressive, right off the bat.
Her submission to Turning Point was the only one that came in the form of a video. Her sincerity shone through, as did her skills.
Barker is one hard-working woman: she is a certified yoga instructor, reiki master, inspirational writer and speaker, author. She does energy work, crystal therapy and belly dancing.
There was only one problem: after devoting $12,000 to building her web-based healing-services business over the past decade, she hasn’t made much money.
Location might be a problem: she lives near Trenton, two hours west of Toronto, so her potential market isn’t huge.
To help Barker build a better web presence, we turned to life coach Caird Urquhart of Toronto.
Said Urquhart: “Alexandria is like a lot of clients who come to me with great ideas, but no strategy about how to achieve their goals.”
The first step: “create a business foundation — the nuts and bolts piece — that’s essential to success.”
With Urquhart’s help, Barker identified “gremlins who poke their heads up” and chip away at her self-esteem.
“I’m confident that with Caird’s practices, I’ll be able to turn my inner critic into my inner cheerleader.”
Barker also sought for guidance to strengthen her public speaking sills, and turned vocal coach Heather Stubbs, author of Speak Up.
Stubbs advocates strong eye-contact, posture and effective use of gestures. Meanwhile, Barker had been memorizing speeches, and rattled them off too quickly.
“You need to pause, to breathe, and the audience needs to pause, to take in what you’re saying,” Stubbs advised.
One of Stubbs’s other clients, the president of a manufacturing company, had the same problem: “He talked too fast. I told him, ‘You’re making world class products, and I want to see how proud you are of what you do.’ ”
As soon as he expressed his heartfelt passion for his products, he improved.
With Urquhart’s help, Barker identified a goal: to achieve a sustainable home-based business that includes writing, webinars, coaching, yoga and reiki treatments, and generates revenue of $35,000 by next June.
“This will enable me to do the work I love, where I love to be,” in Trenton, Barker says.
She’s not interested in moving to a bigger centre. She loves the home she and her husband have created in the 16 years they’ve lived there, and the closeness of her four children (ages 23, 28, 30 and 32), and grandchildren.
Barker has also decided to approach Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, the largest military base in Canada, with proposals for stress reduction and yoga workshops that could fit into the base’s fitness and health promotion programs.
Love & Light