[00:06] Dave Ibis: Welcome to the Profi Customer Spotlight. My name is Dave Ibis. I am joined today by Sarah Lucas, the Head Advisor at the Whole Human Institute. Sarah, thanks for joining us.
[00:20] Sarah Lucas: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
[00:22] Dave Ibis: Maybe we can start with talking a bit more about the Whole Human Institute, how you got your start, and what it is you're trying to accomplish in the world?
[00:30] Sarah Lucas: Definitely. So, I'm the Head Advisor for Whole Human Institute. I got into it because I've had a long relationship with the Co-founder who has been my mentor since I was 14 years old. For about 10 years, I was a licensed health coach. So, when it was time to turn the Whole Human Institute into a tangible product for corporate companies like Hudson's Bay Company (which we have an exclusive partnership with at the moment), he reached out to me knowing my background in health coaching.
The idea and mission behind the Whole Human Institute is to be part of the solution for the mental health crisis that we've been facing for years and to help heal people within the workplace by providing them with access to tools, resources, best practices, and access to a coach-client partnership where we can guide them through a program and addresses one to three areas of health-related focus to help individuals feel like more of a “whole human”–hence our name, Whole Human Institute. That's the mission–to exist in the workspace and be part of the solution for mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
[02:19] Dave Ibis: So, are you mostly focused on working with other organizations and trying to enhance and open up that culture to provide them the resources to deal with the mental health crisis, or just anything that's going on at work?
[02:34] Sarah Lucas: I think we're one of many with this kind of mission. Our goal is for all corporations, companies, and workplaces to provide resources for mental health and well-being for their employees. This not only benefits the employees and improves their quality of life, but it also benefits corporations by reducing employee turnover, promoting healthy and happy employees, and creating a positive work culture. There are just so many benefits that go along with having that as an offering for your corporate personnel or just personnel in general.
[03:17] Dave Ibis: Yeah, you mentioned some of the services that you provide. So obviously, it sounds like coaching. Is that one-on-one coaching kind of service, or is it a group?
[03:28] Sarah Lucas: Yeah, we offer a remote, one-on-one coaching program to all HBC personnel. It's a structured program that revolves around our 10 pillars of high-performance living, which are just categories of health and wellness coaches that we’ve categorized like chapters. In each chapter, you can dive into an evidence-based curriculum of tools, resources, handouts, and best practices. We typically focus on one to three health-related areas in each program with one client.
[04:07] Dave Ibis: Sure, and does the client typically choose that path? Will you have an introduction call with them or something to identify the areas to focus on?
[04:16] Sarah Lucas: Exactly yeah, we do. We do advisor-led workshops within the space to not only just get my face in front of them, but also help communicate about the one-on-one advising program we’re offering to demystify and answer any questions. Then, we offer them a QR code and they're able to go to our landing page, learn more about me as their head advisor, learn more about the program offering, and book a complimentary consultation, where we spend 30 minutes answering any further questions and usually, they're on board to sign up and and go through the program.
[04:58] Dave Ibis: What are some of the challenges that you face getting people engaged, or is there still a stigma towards doing this type of thing at work?
[05:29] Sarah Lucas: Well, I think the stigma of taking time for self-care during work hours is getting better, but it's still there and definitely lingering. The mentality of self-care being unproductive is starting to change as more companies adopt this mindset, and understand that taking care of one's mental, physical, and emotional well-being ultimately leads to better productivity and prevents burnout. I think that helps, but there's still a lot of us having to address that with them in the space and emphasize the fact that we're a third-party company, and they can feel safe and protected knowing we use Profi, our HIPAA compliant platform. It's productive to take a look at yourself in the areas that you'd like to see improved, and to prioritize your mental, physical, emotional health and well-being. Your company wants you to do it, they're encouraging you to do it, they're offering it to you in this space. So,the fact that companies are starting to offer this is helping combat the stigma. We just have to reinforce the message.
[06:57] Dave Ibis: Yeah. Are there any quick tips you can give to people if you're thinking about it? I know you're really focused on the emotional, but also the physical part of well-being, but if I'm a company out there, maybe a small business, and I'm looking for some tips for my employees to try to cultivate mental health, what are some quick wins you can give the people out there?
[07:26] Sarah Lucas: My go-to for mental health is to take five to ten minutes of focused breath-work a day. At the Whole Human Institute, we don't prescribe or diagnose, but we do make recommendations. We lead four guided mindfulness sessions per week, which can be joined in person or remotely. The sessions are just 15 minute bursts of mindful breathing exercises, aimed at calming the mind, focusing on the present moment, rooting yourself in your body and breath, and reducing mental chaos. Taking breaks throughout the day to pause and calm down can be incredibly impactful, both in the workplace and beyond, helping to prevent burnout and improve overall perspective.
[08:29] Dave Ibis: Yeah, absolutely. Do you recommend scheduling those things (if you're not utilizing Whole Human)? I was really into meditation, I did it for about a year, and it was great. But for whatever reason, it's really hard to get back into, once you get out of it. So, what would you say is a good way to drive accountability on yourself in something like this?
[09:14] Sarah Lucas: Well, I think with accountability, there's two different personality types. There's those of us who can hold ourselves accountable a little bit more easily, and there's those of us that benefit greatly from an accountability structure. I think getting curious about which one of the two you are is step one. If you need accountability to stay on track, look for tools or resources like an app or a supportive friend. If you don't, focus on the benefits of the breathing exercises and do them with intention, even if it's just for five minutes.
Experiencing the benefits will help encourage you to stay consistent moving forward. Awareness of how you feel mentally and physically when you practice versus when you don't can help prioritize it and make it a priority in your life, despite other responsibilities and tasks. Realistically, we could stay busy with things all day long, but we have to draw the line at some point and prioritize our physical, mental, and emotional health, so that we can keep going and show up for other people.
[10:39] Dave Ibis: I think that’s such an important message and something I find myself doing all the time. I can definitely make excuses, but when I look back at my day, there was that 10 minutes where I was looking at my phone for no reason. I think I definitely fall into the category of needing accountability structure. When I make the effort to focus on breathing exercises and calm my racing thoughts, it has a big impact on everything I do. I can listen better in work meetings and be present in the moment. There’s definitely something to it.
[11:37] Sarah Lucas: Yeah, the nature of the mind is always trying to pull us forwards and backwards. That's how it strengthens itself and wants to be anywhere but in the moment in front of us. So, that's why taking a moment of pause to focus on your breath can be challenging for us mentally, because we're so strong in that forwards and backwards thinking. It's a switch that needs to be flipped.We must strengthen our ability to be focused and present. It's like one of my favorite quotes says, “Sit out in nature and breathe for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy, then sit for an hour.”
[12:10] Dave Ibis: Yeah, it's almost contradictory. That's when you need more time to do it. So, I know you all have been with Profi for a bit over a year now. How did you find us as a platform and what was your first iteration? Did you come in as a solo advisor on the platform, or did you just start right off as a team?
[12:37] Sarah Lucas: Well, I found Profi just by doing my due diligence, researching all available options for us. We were looking for a platform that was really a one-stop shop. I wanted it to have the features and capabilities to allow me to exist solely on the platform as much as possible. Profi checked all of those boxes pretty much right out of the gates. The only box they didn't check was that I had to join as a solo coach, and my team of advisers each had to have solo accounts until they launched Profi teams. When they did that, I was able to do everything on Profi seamlessly. I was able to act as the Head Advisor and have a team underneath me that I could make changes on the master platform, and those changes were reflected on the coaches' platforms. It made it super seamless in terms of having a team of advisors and a pool of clients.
[13:40] Dave Ibis: How many advisors do you have?
[13:44] Sarah Lucas: 10 and counting. I have some training, so not all of them are active right now. We activate them to meet the demand within the space, which is another nice thing about Profi, its flexibility whenever you have to make adjustments like that.
[14:02] Dave Ibis: So, I know you talked about one-on-one services. Do you do group sessions within Profi as well?
[14:09] Sarah Lucas: We don't do group sessions. In the future, we might incorporate that. We do our advisor-led workshops, which we could do through Profi, but there is a component of in-person attendees. So, at the moment, just use Zoom.
[14:32] Dave Ibis: Do you also utilize it for the content? Are you utilizing programs in Profi to push out any of those different pieces of content?
[14:42] Sarah Lucas: Yeah, I use everything I can in Profi. We build out our services there, the programs are all built out on their shared with clients that way, and Secure Messaging is amazing. I don't have to ever get off of Profi to write an email. It's just a nice all-in-one platform. I just have to log in. So, it's pretty seamless.
[15:11] Dave Ibis: Yeah, I talked to somebody the other day on Secure Messaging. He was telling me that it's helped him create boundaries with his clients because he was getting text messages all hours of the day, and he felt compelled to respond to those text messages. Sometimes they would even get lost, and he wouldn't be able to find them. So, he had his clients go back into the system that they’re using and message him there so he could get back to them within specific work hours. I thought that was a really neat way to think about using that.
[15:48] Sarah Lucas: Yeah, the calendar feature allows you to block days off or books available hours when you need them is incredible. I can just say every Wednesday, for example, I'm unavailable for sessions, and instead of having to communicate individually with all your clients, they can just see your availability. It's very systematic.
[16:13] Dave Ibis: Yeah, that's awesome. I know you all are about changing cultures at work, and I would imagine you have an amazing culture at Whole Human. You were telling me that you’re all doing a retreat–I would love to just hear a bit more about that. Maybe it'll inspire my own employer or other employers.
[16:37] Sarah Lucas: Definitely. The culture at Whole Human Institute has been around for 30+ years, even though Whole Human Institute itself as a company hasn’t been around as long. One of the founders of the Whole Human Institute was the pioneer that helped establish our workplace culture, and it relies heavily around living the brand. If we're not practicing what we preach, then we shouldn't be preaching it. So, we're fully committed to the lifestyle of health and wellness and prioritizing our own so that we can show our best to other people. That includes things like, retreats, improving communication, sleep, rest, and recovery, but we also have to flip the switch just like everybody else, and grind sometimes, but when those moments come about, we're ready because we've prioritized that sleep, rest, and recovery. We're able to grind when needed and really do our best and thrive in those situations.
So, the retreat is just one of the many ways in which we come together as a team. We go to places that are usually deep in nature, like the Colorado River or hot springs. The one that I'm going to next week is deep in the desert, literally in the middle of nowhere, but they have some hot springs there. They have some cold pools so we can do cold plunges. We basically do things that to help our body and our mind recover, but we also come together, look ahead for the year, and touch base on all of our projects, what we hope to achieve, and how we're going to do it.
[18:50] Dave Ibis: Well, it's neat to marry the two things together. We're here to recharge and relax, but we're also going to get some work done while we're doing that.
[19:00] Sarah Lucas: Yeah, and meditation is a daily occurrence.
[19:04] Dave Ibis: Amazing. Well, I really appreciate you stopping by chatting with us today. If people want more information on the Whole Human Institute, where can they find you and get more information?
[19:17] Sarah Lucas: www.whIadvising.com - kind of a tongue twister.
[19:23] Dave Ibis: Okay, great. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time, and it was a pleasure chatting with you today.
[19:34] Sarah Lucas: Thank you. I appreciate you guys, your team, and everything you've been able to do for me. So pleasure to be here today
[19:40] Dave Ibis: Awesome. Thanks.
[19:41] James Steele: Thank you.
[19:43] Dave Ibis: I will stop the recording. Okay.