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Welcome to Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Wellness Professional. I’m your host, Sara Intonato. This podcast is about what you don’t learn in certification programs. We’re taking an honest look at making sales, managing clients, and building your business. Let’s get started.

Hey there and welcome. I’m Sara Intonato, and today we are diving into one of my favorite topics, a topic that makes me very sassy, actually. That is the addiction to certificates that I see, not just in the yoga world, but in every service-based profession that I can possibly think of.

Here’s the hard truth about this. Another certificate does not equal more money. That’s the truth. This is not to knock any type of training or certification program that exists because the ones I did were certainly valuable, as are many others. What we’re diving into now is the mindset that exists around yoga teachers, reiki practitioners, personal trainers, what have you, with the need to have more and more certificates when they don’t actually generate ROI in your business.

Let’s dive into what’s behind this addiction, what you need to know about stepping out of this so that you can make some real money been around here. Having been a yoga teacher for over 16 years, my background is in yoga. That means I’ve seen this time and again in that industry, but it’s not specific to that industry at all.

In any wellness-based profession, you’re going to see people going for reiki certification one, then reiki two and beyond before they’ve even made any money from their reiki one, before they’ve even implemented the skills that they’ve already learned to start moving forward in their business. I can’t tell you how many clients I have who struggle with this same concept. They already teach yoga and are experienced and brilliant at it, but they then feel like they need to add all the things. They need to go for their 500 hour training. They need go for their astrology certification to learn more about the moon cycles for their yoga practice. In reality, they’re spending thousands and thousands of dollars on these interesting topics but topics that don’t generate revenue in their business.

Here’s what I’m talking about. The average yoga teacher training is somewhere between 3,000 and $5,000, in some cases more. People will throw money at that training thinking it’s going to be the thing, the thing that suddenly changes their lives, that makes their dreams come true, that makes making money really easy, and they can live this dreamy, special life. I love teaching yoga. It’s a passion of mine, and it’s the only career that I wanted to build a business upon. However, while I learned a lot in my yoga teacher trainings, it’s not the thing that made me money.

What made me money was turning around and investing at least that same amount or more in a mentor, in a business coach to help me get the backside of my business running smoothly, to help me be profitable, and to help me take the next action steps and really be accountable for myself as a business owner, not just a healer, not just a teacher, but a business owner.

Unfortunately, these are skills which you don’t learn in your yoga teacher training or your personal training certification. You’re not learning how to be profitable. You’re not learning how to pay your taxes quarterly, for example. You’re not learning how to make intelligent investments in your business. What happens is people then feel like they’re not making money because they’re doing something wrong and turn it around to say, “Well, after I get this next level of certification or expertise, then all the things will be fixed, and I’ll be profitable.”

Here’s the problem. What makes you an expert in your field is actually implementing what you learn and gaining years of experience in helping the people that you want to help. You can do what I call procrastalearning and get certificate after certificate. It does not mean you’re then a well-trained expert to help whomever comes through your door. If you want to be an expert in your field, this is what you have to be able to do.
People are skipping over the implementing, which is the most crucial stage with any new skill that you learn. They just keep learning and learning new skills. I also find it fascinating that people will spend 3,000 to $5,000 on a certification to get a piece of paper, but the idea of investing that same amount in their business or in a coach or mentor actually paralyzes them with fear.

I can’t tell you how many people reach out to me wanting to work with me, get 90% there, and then put on the brakes. It’s because they’re afraid they’re not going to get a return on their investment, they’re not going to make that money back, but what they’re actually afraid of is that they’re not going to show up and do the work. They’re not going to show up and make the changes they need to make in their business to take inspired action and generate revenue. Instead, they put blind faith into teacher training XYZ and just pray that it’s going to be the thing that turns it around. I’m here to tell you that’s not true.

Let’s take off those rosy-colored glasses and instead talk about what you really need to do and the faces and the mindset shifts you really need to make if you’re going to turn your career around to one which is not just profitable but sustainable. Here’s a hint. The certificates are not going to do that for you. The first thing we’re going to address here around the mindset behind the certificate addiction people have is that it’s a hiding place. This is the honest truth. Now, I’m a lifelong learner, so I’m not saying you shouldn’t attend seminars and dive deeper into your own personal practice or read books or listen to podcasts. I love learning. I do it all the time, but investing in something that you think is going to be this magic pill which turns your business around is just silly. It’s not real.

When somebody gets the mindset of, “Once I get this next level certificate, then I’ll be profitable,” or, “Once I go to the yoga teacher training 500 hour level, then I’ll charge more for my services,” what they’re essentially doing is playing the when-then game. They’re saying, “When I’m more qualified, then I’m worthy of receiving for my services. When I’m better, then I can charge the prices I really want.” What you’re doing in this process is telling the universe you are not worthy of receiving now. This is a bunch of BS. I guarantee that there are people right now who need not only your skills, but they need your life experience. They need to hear about the stories you have, the obstacles you’ve moved through in your own life to get to a better place of healing. You hiding behind the need for more certificates is not serving anyone. What will serve others is for you to get out there and share your knowledge.

I also want to point out that you can continue the learning process in your craft just for fun. Once I invested in a business coach and my whole business started to change… Don’t get me wrong. I was scared with that investment just like you might be now. Everything changed for me. Anything I then continued to learn in the way of my own personal yoga practice, meditation, yoga sutra knowledge, really became about my own betterment. It became about me being a better student. Yes, I was able to turn around and share that information with the people who I work with, but I wasn’t going into it with a really fuzzy awareness around what my expectations were, what I was hoping to get out of it. You can continue to learn as much as you would like, but you don’t have to put unnecessary expectations on that learning.

Another mindset wobble people have around this topic is resistance. When you sign up to be in a healing profession or a wellness-based service provider like a yoga teacher or a personal trainer, I’m guessing that you’re not just doing it to make money. I’m guessing you’re doing it because, like me, you experienced a drastic life change from this work, and you want to share it. You feel called to change the lives of others in a better way so that they can experience the type of healing that you’ve experienced. Often with this comes a big vision, comes a big desire to make an impact, to change the world. That can be scary. Instead of going out there and doing the big thing, we hide by procrastalearning, chasing all the shiny objects, getting all the certificates because our big vision is scary. We think, “Who am I to go out and do this work? Am I really worthy? Am I really qualified?” Instead, we hide.

I’m here to call you into something bigger and say enough with the hiding. Step up, take action, put yourself out there now. Part of doing this is acting like an expert and upholding your value. Each time you experience a new level of success in your business or in your life, you might feel triggered in some ways and wonder if you’re worthy. Just last week, when I signed a new client at the highest level I’ve ever operated in, a little part of me felt like I had to go back to school and get my MBA. “Am I really qualified to lead this person?” my ego thought. The answer is yes. Thankfully, because I’ve done this work and I have great supports in the form of a coach and a mastermind group, I was able to laugh about this with these people. They were able to say, “That’s just your ego talking. Time to quiet that down and go do the work that you really need to do.”

I see it in my clients all the time. When one of my clients, who’s a yoga teacher whom I mentor, experienced a huge win in her own client work, her unworthiness came up really fast. That same night, after receiving a client contract signed, a payment for six months in full upfront, she jokingly called me and said, “I feel like I have to go to another teacher training program now. I’m not worthy of receiving this success as I am. I’m not an expert enough, and some other certification is going to make me worthy.” Thankfully, we were able to laugh about it together. We were able to see it for what it is. We also were able to see the sabotaging behaviors around that, not just the unworthiness and the procrastalearning but also the uneasiness she had around holding onto a large sum of money. That was new for her as a healer.

We acknowledged that part of that desire to go get another certificate was a little bit of guilt and shame that she was feeling around holding this new money and a subconscious need to throw it out at something else rather than just let it stay where it is. So fascinating, and yet we do it all the time. As I said before, I’m here to call you into a higher level of service, really putting yourself out there in the world. Stop the procrastinating.

Keep learning in a way which is inspiring to you, but don’t put external expectations on other programs or teachers to be the thing that clicks it for you in your business. Instead, look within yourself and find your own worthiness so you can go out there and make the impact that you want to make. If this podcast touches a nerve with you, it means we’re onto something, and this something is worth exploring in a deeper way. I’m here to help you with this, and I would love for you to come follow me on Instagram. I’m very active there, especially with yoga teachers and service providers in the wellness realm.

We do a lot of conversation that is really worthy and helpful in our line of work. I’m here, and I’m on social media because I want to build relationships with people just like you, and I want to use that as an avenue to have real conversations. That’s what I’m about. If this resonates with you, find my Instagram at Sara Intonato. Hit me up. Send me a DM. I would love to know more about you. Thank you so much for joining me today, and remember, helping others and being successful are not mutually exclusive. You can have both.

Thank you so much for joining me today, and remember that listening is just the first step. Now, it’s time to take action. Choose something from today’s episode that you want to implement in your own practice and business. I’d love to hear what action you’re taking, so follow me over on Instagram at Sara Intonato and let me know. If this show was helpful, please take a moment to leave a rating or review on your favorite podcast provider. It’s an important part of helping new listeners find this show.