12 Jul 2023

Episode 13 Setting Up & Running Your Own Business With Moira Geary Self-Help Change Leader & Host of the Positive Project Podcast

Moira Geary a former student here at ICHAS recently sat down to chat with us about her own business and the advice she would give for anyone who’s thinking of taking that big step out on their own.

Maybe give people just a bit of an intro about your own background.

Okay, so my name is Moira Geary, and originally after leaving school, I trained as a general nurse, and then I did midwifery. And then I moved to the UK with my new husband. I worked there for many years in nursing but got a very keen interest in all things, positive psychology, and understanding how we take behaviour as a hobby then as I started to have family, we moved back to Ireland, which then transitioned into like, a little bit beyond a hobby, so I dabbled in that part-time and worked with some people to kind of help them with different issues that they might have had and then that eventually grew into a business, which obviously, it has grown into what I still do today. So I suppose it was a hobby for many years and then since 2009, it became a serious business or serious support for people.

What made you choose ICHAS to do your studies?

So really, if you think about what I was doing, and what I still do, which is very much around, kind of the positive psychology side of things where, like a lot of the clients that I would work with, and a lot of my practitioners that I train, will they would work with people that are not coping the people that what we’re doing is we’re working with them to overcome fear, overwhelm procrastination, self-sabotage, fear, worry about that type of stuff. When we’re when we’re working with them, that’s all great but what we’re doing is really reducing the risk factors of them having mental health disorders. So a lot of my practitioners that I trained to do this work, and they set up their business in their practices and started to get it out of counselors and psychotherapists, and psychologists coming as students and I felt that it would be good for me to understand the world of psychotherapy a little bit deeper.

So I decided to come to ICHAS to study for that reason I wanted to understand that world I wanted to understand the training and I wanted to understand what the systems and processes were in place, and obviously skills, so that I could kind of, you know, help my students, that was the first reason. The second reason was it was important for me to understand research. So that’s why I did the Masters because I want you to understand research, I watched the experience of doing it obviously, by doing you learn, and I learned so much from that, on how not to do things and subsequently, I understand that now. But also what it did is it set me up to be able to read research and that was very important to me because everything that I do with my students, whatever I like it to be, you know, to be research-based, and that we can understand through the lens of the research and the science behind the reasons why we do what we do.

Also, another reason was that a lot of my along with the modality, the modality, there were practitioners that I train in a modality I created called QTT, which is quantum thinking transformation and there were 150 quantitative transformation coach practitioners now as we stand, but what they can do is I within that modality, I created a number of techniques and two, two quite big techniques were what the counselor psychotherapist found really good about it was that they can utilise those techniques to help the clients to disconnect the emotion of the feeling from their past experiences.

So a lot of psychotherapists and psychologists find it extremely beneficial for trauma. Again, I needed to understand the world of psychotherapy and counselling. So that’s why I was here in college to understand that a bit more and to see if there any other ways that we can enhance those specific techniques to help counsellors and psychotherapists work with their clients to help them to actually because a lot of the time, the problem is not so much the past experience it’s the feeling we feel today about the past experience is actually the problem. But these techniques actually can help people to release that feeling from their body, and it never comes back again.
So it’s quite a powerful process and the counsellors and psychotherapists found that very good. So I just wanted to be clear that I was marrying those things well with counseling and psychotherapy, because I didn’t really understand what exactly was taught in, you know, here in the college or, you know, or how, how that will process worked? Or, you know, all of that.
So it was very beneficial for that.

Would that be an area that’s very topical at the moment?
What I think is the area in terms of releasing the feeling, or in relation to the emotion? Is that what you mean? Yeah, I think that people don’t believe it, because a lot of people have had a story that is attached to their past memories and not many people know that you can actually get that relief. So it’s not very popular from the perspective of because it sounds so simplistic people don’t believe that it is the case. However, for anybody, and if the students listening to this, obviously, they’re interested in the area and if you look within the area, of course, I mean, the book, The Body Keeps the Score is a an unbelievable overview and look into how our bodies actually hold on to emotion that’s attached to our past experiences and dramas, we know that I mean, all of us experiences are introduced, think back to a good memory and you’ll actually feel the feeling in your body. It’s the same when we think back to an uncomfortable memory.

However, we don’t have to always have that visceral or emotional response in the now associated with those memories. So not that many people have too often when I talk about it, people go, are you serious? I mean, I don’t believe that. But obviously, you know, I can understand that too. Because we are conditioned and trained to think that we can’t actually get over stuff, as in the feeling of what we can.
Because they’ve just haven’t given like, people go, oh, that sounds weird. Like, when’s the last time you actually did sit down and give yourself time to actually do or be with yourself?

What’s the experience been over the 14 years of kind of building things up from there to now?
Yeah, interesting because in 2009, it was a hobby, I was really enjoying it, I was working one to one. and the recession hit and my husband worked for a number of construction companies, they all went out of business and we did a family tragedy that needed to be sorted. So I just said to him, Look, go and go and take some time out and let’s just see if I can put a bit of effort into this and see what would happen. So I was working with clients face to face one to one and that was really good and then I realized that because obviously, I was kind of the main breadwinner at that stage. If I wanted to really increase the business, I’d need to look at a more strategic way of running the business. So rather than working one-to-one, I decided that another way to reach more people and also earn more money was to work one to many, meaning that it was me one to many people in a room, which was to groups.

So I started that way and then I realized in 2009, the internet and online training. Of course, this was all very new mainly done in the States, rather than Ireland or even in Europe. But I have a bit of an entrepreneurial head and I am fascinated with systems. So I just had a look at it and thought I wonder what then I was thinking God, I wasn’t reared to the era of technology will I get this but I just stuck with my guns and really looked into it. So in the space of about two to three years, I had my first online program, and we launched that and I was very excited that people actually bought it and give into it and the people that came into that very first program, I still run that program, and the people that are in there are still in their district getting results. So that program was the first thing I put online and that was what helped to grow the business then I would run live events.

So the more people that got to know about the work and got to know about the techniques I teach and how it basically is like a handbook for people to help themselves to cope in life regardless of what the situation is and they started telling other people and then I used a lot of Facebook ads as well to get people to get the opportunity to have free stuff.

So I’ve got a seven-day positivity project, it’s a free online training, it’s a video day for seven days and we’ve had, I think it’s over 20,000 people have actually downloaded that and the emails we get are just unbelievable, where people have just had unbelievable life-changing things from that, course but they get to know, like, and trust me to that I’m not selling anything, it’s three, three for anybody on the planet and the more people that have, you know, delighted and it’s a lovely way of living. And then a lot of those people come into my Facebook group and the Facebook group at the moment now took time, obviously to grow I think there are about 13,000 people in there. It’s very active, it’s actually on pause at the moment over the summer, we just pause just for everybody to relax, and take a breath.

But even in COVID, I was in there live every morning for 200 mornings in COVID and I taught something different every morning, and we had hundreds of people on. It really helped people at and all for free. Because I really feel that first of all, it’s important to give back and then when people got to know like and trust me, then it was very easy to build the rest of the business because they don’t want to say I’m going I have a program, if you want to go deeper if you want to, you know, be coached closer by me and that’s where people would have come into wealthy minds, which is the bigger program, and then a lot of those people then would have come on to do the practitioner training. So that’s how it’s happened really.

So in terms of the biggest learnings or lessons would adaptability be one that would be high on the list?

What I would say is definitely always have a mindset of if things change, am I able to adapt, you know, I’m able to pivot even though that word is you know, in COVID and an example would have been you guys here. I guess it wasn’t that difficult for you all to transition to online because you were already kind of there. So it was just a matter of scaling that and it was a little bit like that for me as well. In the old days, though, and you won’t remember this even though I know you’re a tech head, even trying to not just shoot a video, but then to render it and they had to go through about three different processes through a thing called handbrake and a number of other things.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with all of that, we had to do all of that before we could even put a video up online and membership sites were not like they are now where everything’s click and drag, it’s just so automated and easy.

So it was difficult and as I say it didn’t, I didn’t wasn’t raised in an era where we had technology when I was young. So what I always say to people is like, you know, just because you think that you might learn this or that it might be you know, my kids find it easy, but, you know, I just you look at the why, what am I doing? What’s my reason for doing this, if your purpose and your reason for doing something is strong, stronger than your fear of doing it, then you will overcome that fear.

I also had a fascination for as in I was fascinated when I pressed a button that something happened, you know, even you know, to put out a Facebook ad and to see people signing up for the positivity project, that just and then I have don’t have to do anything. That just, you know, go through the whole process over the seven days and they get a result, but I only have to shoot the video once. That to me is just so exciting. But you do need to be willing to adapt, be willing to take risks, and be willing to be open to the fact that it might not work and if it doesn’t just get on with it and try another way.

If you had to go back and give yourself one bit of advice at the very start of setting the business up what would it be?

To be honest, I bootlegged everything. In other words, like I had, I never went mad with buying expensive things if they weren’t necessary and I would say that to people, you know, just bootleg it and try things out first. So that’s one thing I would say don’t go by and don’t go hiring all these people actually. That’s probably the biggest lesson for me and it’s something that a lot of people in this industry that are trying to get themselves online will come and ask me how did you do blah, blah, what I’d always say to people is understand all of your business and understand the systems.

So in other words, if anything happened in my business tomorrow, I know exactly how to fix it. I don’t fix it because I have other people that do that. But I learned it first and I know how to do it. So that I never feel that I’ll ever be you know that I don’t understand that and also, even when I if I was to hire somebody, it’s really important that I know and understand what their job is and how they’re doing their job. You know, so let’s say that’s that that would be really important.

Don’t hand that to somebody else without you really knowing because it creates a kind of a disconnect if you don’t really understand what’s going on in your business. Like
An example would be if you hand stuff out to a virtual assistant that’s doing stuff and they’re doing their own thing, and you don’t really understand what they’re doing, then it’s very hard to get creative in your business, if you’re not really sure what’s, what’s going on.

What advice do you have for current students who may be maybe thinking, right, maybe I’ll go out and set up my own practice or business?

You know, regardless of what age you are, whether that is you’re just, out of school or college, or you come back to study, and you’re thinking, maybe, you know, I’ve changed to something completely different with your previous career or whatever. The one thing I would say is that, you know, I’m not saying for everybody that it will be difficult, and it isn’t, or that will be scary but definitely, historically, what I find is that most people who I chat to about this is that the big thing that holds people back when launching a business is fear and that fear is usually the fear of rejection. In other words, I’m not good enough, or whatever, make mistakes or whatever. So what I would say is that the minute you leave college, I don’t mean go practicing on people, but definitely make sure you get experience straightaway. That is huge. Because if we leave a gap, then sometimes people’s confidence can be a little bit not. So like everybody will have done their placements, or they’ll have already done work with people or with clients, and what I would say is just jump in and get moving straightaway.

The other thing that a lot of people will feel or have felt, or people that I’ve talked to, will say that, but I’ve no experience, and there are a lot of other very experienced counsellors out there and I’m only like a baby step. So maybe I won’t be good enough for somebody, what I would say is that you know, like, regardless of where you’re at, you have life experience, and you’ve done your training for a reason. So your experience is going to be very different and what you’re doing is you’re just using the tools that you’ve learned like everybody else has used it to them with your life experience. So you definitely will be way ahead of very experienced counselors, based in the area that you have life experience in and that you’re very good at.

So and also, don’t ever think for a second that, you know, some people were often in my world in the personal development world to be saying, but I haven’t it all worked out and say, Well, nobody’s ever going to have it all worked out. So don’t be thinking that your life has to be perfect before you work with somebody. I always feel as long as I’m one step ahead or have experience in something slightly more than somebody I’m helping, then I can give them that help and I think that’s huge. So what stops most people is fear, fear of rejection, fear of not getting clients, fear of making a mistake, or wanting to so and so going to think that’s huge.

You’ve also launched a podcast called the positivity project. Where did the idea of that come from?
Over the years I would have done an awful lot of sharing stuff on video online, I just find video very easy and very comfortable. But sure podcasts are more or less the same thing only I don’t have to put the makeup on. So and also podcast is more popular now than it would have been 10 years ago and again, yes, I did start the podcast, we’ve done season one, it was really just trying it out and having a play with it and if anybody wants to listen to it, obviously it’s the Positivity Project.

But I do know that the next seasons and going forward will be very different from what I did in season one because I need to put a proper strategy in place to utilize the podcast to its best from a marketing perspective. That’s what I partly do over the summers, I take a step back from the business and we have a relook at everything and think okay, is everything being used, you know, unutilized to its best to it from a marketing perspective to reach enough people and to reach as many people as we possibly can.

Definitely, the podcast isn’t but it was set up when we did season one just to set it up. Now all the tech bits are in place so now it’s a case of me getting my strategy hat on and my marketing hat on and using it that way.

What did you find to be the biggest benefit from studying at ICHAS?
The connections were huge. I’ve had, even since I left, I’d still be in touch with a number of the lectures and lectures and, and some of the students that obviously I was with as well. So for me, definitely networking, being around like-minded people, that was really, really good, and also I know that like some of the people that I was talking to, some of the lecturers are kind of interested in my area as well. So that was kind of nice, too. That was a bit of a kind of give and take. I enjoyed that. The big learning for me was the research and knowing now even as I’ve left, I guess I still have a network that is connected to ICHAS, if I ever have a question about any of that, I know that I can pick up the phone to people and that’s just like, that’s priceless.

To learn more about Moiras business go to her website today.

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