Welcome to a wonderful guest blog from the awe-inspiring Gilly Woodhouse – also known as Mrs Osteobiz. I have had the pleasure of working with Gilly and helping her to build her massive success (#grateful) and I know that she is super passionate about helping those Osteopaths shine their light AND has started the movement #osteopathyworks. This lady is the bomb when it comes to the grow of osteopathy businesses!
I’ll let her talk now….
The Birthing of Osteobiz!
It was August 2013. I was struggling to pay the bills. I was working freelance. This month, my income was a dismal sixty quid. Oh, and my 17 year old son Toby, was under the care of Great Ormond Street Hospital and after months, we were still desperately waiting for an urgent heart transplant. It was all a bit shit.
Because of this, I could only work part time and I had managed to find some remote admin work with a small Osteopathic teaching faculty. The trouble was that if the phone didn’t ring, I didn’t earn a penny.
Walking barefoot on the lawn one day, I dreamed of being in a better place. As the grass soothed my feet, an idea began to drift across my mind. The faculty taught specialised Osteopathic skills on their courses and I would attend to help on the day. Many would confide in me that they were struggling to keep bringing in new patients. Being health practitioners they tended not to be great at marketing themselves. But I’d been studying new marketing methods and quickly I began inadvertently coaching them. They loved my fresh approach.
The idea wouldn’t shift and I began to feel excited as I thought up the word Osteobiz. I looked online and there was little targeted help available in this sector. By now I knew Osteopaths very well: highly intelligent, anatomical and physiological experts, warm, engaging, curious and delightful. Working with them would be so rewarding.
But what would Osteobiz deliver? Scaring myself with my own audacity, I daydreamed about delivering online marketing courses and private coaching to global Osteopaths.
Hubby thought I was a crazy old bird!
Quietly, I maxed out my credit card, commissioned a website complete with the ability to hold online course materials. Looking terrified, I recorded straight-faced and dry video classes explaining the basics of marketing their businesses so that potential patients actually took notice.
With fear knifing me in the belly, that Christmas, I launched the Osteobiz Club. A few joined up in the New Year and a tiny income limped in. Now and again, a new Client would come to me for specific advice. Like a novice, I managed to overwhelm a few with far too much information. Quickly, I learned to give bespoke step by step plans. Swiftly they began to confidently attract new patients.
Gradually I became more self-assured that I did indeed know my stuff and I began to get some great testimonials.
Hubby still fretted about our fluctuating income and regularly urged me to dump my silly idea and go out and get a ‘proper job’. He generally catastrophized about us losing our house and ending up on the street! I began to ask myself if I had indeed gone a niche too far…
Every penny I earned I moved endlessly around between our bank accounts like a Las Vegas croupier, ensuring that the mortgage got paid with the last of the overdraft. Then I would scratch about like an old hen to find the money for next month’s bills.
Meanwhile I worked up to 12 hours a day, squinting at the laptop and sitting for too long as I pumped out endless blogs, created course materials and bombarded social media with my passion for my work. Luckily, I was regularly getting my sore back, neck and joints fixed by my own Osteopath who listened excitedly to my inch by inch progress and egged me on.
Basically, Osteopaths use their hands and their encyclopaedic knowledge of the body to detect what’s going on within the body and help it back to health. Ultimately they treat pain and this is what I wanted more people to know about. Osteopathy had helped massively in treating my own children too and I wanted to spread the word to more people.
But I needed to grow my business much faster in order to get established and quell the naysayers in the house! So once again, like a mad woman, I maxed out my credit card last year and invested in my own coach; the talented Emma Holmes. She promptly propelled me forwards, showing me how to proactively fill my online courses. Finally, I could help hundreds more Osteopaths to increase their new patient numbers and therefore success.
Now some call me Mrs Osteobiz!
That year I finally made a few grand but Hubby still pressed me to stop my nonsense. I dug deep. I dug in my heels. I wouldn’t give up my dream and I just dug faster than ever. I took a Saturday job at a local Estate Agents to bring in more cash. I ain’t scared of hard work!
I began giving presentations to the Osteopathic Schools and some Regional Societies. The feedback was superb and I suddenly realised that my childhood dream of teaching had actually come true in an extraordinary fashion.
This August my income was actually higher than the figure for my entire first year of trading.
The Institute of Osteopathy have invited me to give a presentation to their delegates at this November’s National Convention. They also have booked me to deliver online training for them next March.
I now have hundreds of wonderful Clients in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
This summer I had another big idea and began a campaign to get Osteopathy better known. There are now over 450 worldwide Osteopaths in the buzzing Facebook group and I am helping them to promote it. I called it #OsteopathyWorks – because it really does.
In November 2017, Hubby and I are travelling to Australia and New Zealand and then on around the world for six months. I intend to work, deliver courses and classes and meet more Osteopaths as I simultaneously have fun and travel. It’s a dream come true.
He had his heart transplant soon after my crazy Osteobiz idea and for months, as I set things up, it was all very touch and go. But now he’s 20, healthy, thriving, has a long term girlfriend and is studying Accountancy while he works in a job he loves.
Occasionally I hear him boasting about his wife’s success…
I’ve learned tons on this journey. Even if the odds seem stacked against you, DREAM big, DECIDE what you want and take MEANINGFUL steps towards your goals every day. Be RELENTLESS, be RESILIENT, act more CONFIDENT than you feel and NEVER, EVER give up!
Gilly Woodhouse is regularly invited to present lectures, workshops and teach marketing skills to the Undergraduates at the British School of Osteopaths, London School of Osteopaths and British College of Osteopathic Medicine, amongst others. Gilly has also presented classes to Osteopathic Regional Societies such as Oxfordshire Osteopathic Network.
She has also been published in Osteopathy Today and has now helped hundreds of Osteopaths worldwide to grow their patient lists.
Visit Gilly’s website – http://www.osteobiz.com/
Connect on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/Osteobiz