Since the beginning of 2021, I’ve been blessed to be part of a Mastermind group of authentic entrepreneurs and business owners. In this group, we meet business owners from different walks of life, each of them growing their digital presence in an organic and engaged manner.
As I interacted with each business owner, I was struck by the sheer wisdom and kindness that they bring into each of their offerings. And I was inspired to start an interview segment where I could bring the wisdom of these brilliant business owners to you all.
It is my absolute delight to kick off this series of interviews on my blog, which ties in closely with the theme of my podcast: Intentional and Creative Affluence.
Today’s guest is Tara Whitney, who is an author, speaker and coach that helps women let go of dieting and emotional eating so they can make peace with food. Her first book, Hungry: Trust Your Body and Free Your Mind around Food offers women a path to find freedom around food for themselves.
When I met Tara (virtually) for the first time, I was struck by her compassion as a business owner and her intuitive approach to eating and wellness. I knew then that I just had to have her on the blog. I finished reading her book and found myself nodding along to so many parts of her experience that this relationship became a natural development.
Tara also invited me to be on her podcast where we talked about how we are exactly where we need to be.
Let’s hear from Tara Whitney now, on her work, her business and her inspiration to pursue what makes her happy.
Question: What is the nature of your business and how long have you had your business?
I’m a coach, author and speaker. 2021 is my third year in business full-time. I published my book Hungry: Trust Your Body and Free Your Mind around Food in July of 2019 and I launched my podcast Hungry: Trust Your Body. Free Your Mind. in February of 2020. I spend most of my time offering group coaching, one on one coaching, and courses around intuitive eating, body image and emotional eating.
What is it about this work that drew you to it in the first place? Was it a personal calling or a professional leaning? How do you find the support necessary to stay in a space of comfortable creativity?
I started eating emotionally and dieting when I was 12. I struggled with food and my body for decades by constantly dieting and trying to fix my body. I was constantly trying to find a solution that would work and trying to understand why I was overeating and emotionally eating. When I put a few critical pieces together, my relationship with food changed significantly and I started to heal.
I part of me wished I could be doing different work, but I realized that my struggles were for a reason and I wanted to guide people to freedom around food with more grace and ease.
I also love transformational coaching! There is something so powerful when we shift our perspective on a situation and new possibilities open up in front of our eyes.
Comfortable creativity for me has taken practice! I’m now using 750words.com pretty much every day and I’m loving what’s flowing for me. Writing helps me to process how I feel and allows me to find clarity in my day. I prefer to write in the morning and I generally set aside consistent time for content creation.
Question: What makes your work special? What does your audience relate to the most when it comes to you and your content?
The work I do is so personal. People can feel so shameful around food and body image and they often keep their stories to themselves. I love sharing so people don’t feel alone or like they are crazy or broken. This is so important to their own healing.
I’m not so sure around my content as much as what clients share with me about what makes me unique. I often hear that I have a gentleness and a fierceness to how I coach. I do know that acceptance and compassion is so important, and we need a bit (sometimes a lot!) of courage to move forward.
Question: Do you have a regular creative schedule or do you prefer to create when you feel inspired? Do you sense a difference in the way people relate to your content/work in either case?
Hmm, I don’t think so. I like to create in the morning. I personally love to let ideas come from the moment. I have a list of ideas and topics to talk about just in case I get stuck. But more often than not, I’m thinking about a client’s challenge or a question that gets brought up to me and I know it’s time to write about that. When I trust myself to do this, I generally get the “I feel like you’re talking directly to me.”
Question: How do you marry the creative side of your work with the practical side? In other words, how do you ensure that you can keep a thriving business going while staying true to the essence of your work?
I give myself permission to write about what I want to write about. I find that when I do, and when these topics may not seem so directly related to intuitive eating or emotional eating, that I’m more engaged in my more technical or practical pieces of content. I love that I’ve given myself permission around this because I want my business to be a reflection of what I feel passionate about.
Question: Have you faced any struggles on your creative/business journey? How did you overcome them?
Definitely. While I was running multiple businesses, probably 5 or 6 years ago, I decided to stop sending my weekly coaching emails. I was exhausted and had little mental bandwidth to do it. I felt like I was being a rebel at the time. Little did I know that I just needed a different process (and not be running multiple businesses). I also thought “Why am I bothering, what is this getting me?” Eventually, I recreated a content distribution process that fits with my energy level.
Question: What is your best form of relaxation? How does this help your creative input or spark?
I’m definitely becoming a fan of the 15 minute rest/nap. That’s been huge. I often get great ideas in the shower! Walking is also a good source, but the ideas come at the end of my walk when I’ve stopped thinking and trying to figure everything out.
Question: What are 3 important tips you’d like to share with fellow creatives or business owners who are just starting out on their journey?
1. Write daily (at least 5 days a week). This will help you refine your message and frameworks and give you confidence in your own authority in your space.
2. Take your time finding and engaging in support for your business. There are a lot of coaches out there that will promise you the world and deliver very little. Sample their work. Be patient. I’ve wasted so much money on coaches that didn’t really help me build my business. Finding the right ones changes everything.
3. Do your best to keep your expectations of business growth in check. Try to filter out all the noise that you should have a 6-figure business in a certain amount of time. Having high or inaccurate expectations of your business can create exhaustion and frustration.
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More about Tara Whitney
Tara Whitney is a published author, podcaster, speaker and coach. She’s leading a revolution of women who are listening to their own internal wisdom, respecting and nourishing their bodies and ultimately trusting themselves in every area of their lives.
Her latest book, Hungry: Trust Your Body and Free Your Mind around Food, offers a fresh perspective on why women have struggled with food and gives them a path to set themselves free. Tara is also the host of the Hungry: Trust Your Body. Free Your Mind podcast where she interviews some amazing guests who’ve transformed their own relationship with food. They share what their life is like now that their minds are free and they trust their bodies.
Starting her career as a CPA in public accounting, Tara is a serial entrepreneur and has founded and grown several businesses, including an accounting consulting firm and a yoga studio. Tara and her family, her husband and three children, live on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. She loves soaking in the gifts of the ocean, her meditation cushion and yoga mat.
Connect with Tara on her website, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Offer: If you’re keen to explore the principles of intuitive eating, reach out to Tara for a one to one session.