This morning, I was doing a bit of research to figure out how much food an adult should eat every year. I also wondered how much I might be able to grow, dry and transform myself.
It wasn’t an easy task, as most of the information these days seems targeted to daily consumption.
According the World Health Organization, adults should eat at least 1,200 calories per day, depending on age and activity. Of that, 400g should consist of fruits and vegetables per day. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots do not count within this total. Salt intake should be limited to 5 grams (and not more).1
Most of us in industrialized countries eat more than double what we need, more than 3,000 calories a day.2
I’m definitely among those eating too much these days. Most of my clothes no longer fit.
According to the guidelines, a sedentary woman my age should eat 1,600 calories a day, so I’ve set MyFitness Pal to 1,200 calories per day to ensure warnings as I get close to the target. In an article for Harward Medical School, Daniel Pendick estimates that a woman of my age and weight should eat roughly 53 grams of protein a day.3
My main goal is to eat a diet that’s less damaging. I want to use local resources and prevent climate change.
As inspiration, I read about Rob Greenfield, who decided to experiment growing and foraging his own food for a year in Orlando Florida. The only challenge for him was protein; fishing didn’t provide enough for him so he relied on eating deer kill.4 Don’t think I’ll try anything that extreme this year, but his projects definitely provide a baseline of what’s possible in warmer climates.
According to a Los Angeles Times article by Deborah Netburn, 37 colleagues from 16 countries around the world published a study in Lancet about a sustainable diet for 2050. That diet limites us to one tablespoon of red meat per day (ie one hamburger per week or one steak per month), one glass of dairy beverage per day, two servings of fish per week, one egg per week and many more whole grains, seeds, nuts and vegetables.5
I did a bit more research about that diet and discovered that it comes from a nonprofit company called EAT, which itself is funded by the Stordalen Foundation, the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Wellcome Trust.
According to that diet, we should eat:
at least 125 grams of dry beans, lentils, peas and other nuts or legumes per day; and
no more than 98 grams of red meat (pork, beef or lamb), 203 grams of poultry and 196 grams of fish per week.
Most of the resources on that site talk about transforming the industrial food system to become more sustainable, a goal I heartily endorse. I’d also like to grow as much food myself too. When I plugged info about that into Google, however, I got a lot of survival-oriented sites about storing food for a year.
What about Growing Food?
So far, the best resource I found for my needs is a blog, book and podcast series by Melissa K. Norris. Norris writes about pioneering and homesteading. In a recent post, she recommends that each person plant 10 to 20 bean plants for canned and dried beans throughout the year. She also recommends 15 bulbs of garlic, and 5 tomato plants per person, 5 cucumber plants, 3 winter squash plants and 1 summer squash plant.7
Of course, she lives in Washington, so the homegrown season lasts a little longer there than it does here in Montreal, so I’m not sure if her estimates will match what I need.
Guess I’ll have to do a bit of experimenting over the coming year. Stay with me and hopefully, we’ll answer the question by the end of the year.
Just before the holidays, I got the chance to interview Evelyn Huynh, wellness lifestyle and business coach who moved her business from Ottawa to Los Angeles last year.
In addition to describing her entrepreneurial journey so far, and commiserating on the importance of empowering women, Evelyn briefly outlined her EVOLVE coaching method, which I really like.
Evelyn has the kindest definition for being Canadian that I’ve ever heard. Thanks Evelyn! Great to get to know you via interview.
Tracey Well, welcome back to Canada. It’s really interesting for unapologetically Canadian listeners to hear, because you are now living in L.A. and you are a wellness coach. So can you just describe a little bit about how you ended up in L.A.?
Evelyn OK, so I’m going to try to give you guys the Cliff Notes version. I’m a wellness coach turned business coach in the wellness industry. I started off in the fitness and health industry as a personal trainer and then I took my business online.
The reason why I started in the fitness industry was because of my own struggles with bullying, body dysmorphia, body image, that kind of thing. And so naturally, I have some family in the states and it just made sense for me to bring my business over because L.A. is just this big hub for the entertainment and fitness industry. I was doing YouTube for a bit, so it honestly just made sense for me to bring my business there. And I’ve been there for about a year and three months now.
Living in the States compared to living in Canada
Evelyn You have no idea. It like the moment I come back to Canada. Even just stepping foot in the Vancouver airport, I’m like, oh my God, I’m on Canadian soil. You really notice the difference.
TraceyIs it because it’s a cultural difference or is it just a mood difference or is there something about it that changes who you are?
Evelyn It’s 100 percent an environmental, energy and cultural difference. When you go over there, it’s kind of like every man for themselves, but the moment you come to Canada, the stereotypes are so true. Everyone’s nice, you know? Two days ago, I was driving around the mall and we there was three cars at the intersection and everyone was just telling each other to go. That would never happen in the States. In the states, it’s OK, I’m going, you guys can deal with it later.
Tracey But that means that you have to be a little bit a little bit more aggressive again. Things that were you want.
Evelyn And that’s exactly the difference here. It’s like so, you know, a little bit slower pace. You know, everyone’s like, here you go ahead. I’m sorry. And then over there, it’s like, no, I’m in it. You fend for yourself.
Tracey Oh, my gosh. That’s perfect. And so tell me a little bit about where you came from. Because when the reason that I was looking at interviewing you is because you have a really interesting story in terms of how you got where you are. It’s almost like an origin story. So can you talk a little bit about what made you go into the wellness space? Yes, I love or maybe you actually know what? Let’s start with what you’re proud of for. I’m sorry. We should start with
What are you proud of?
Evelyn So I guess what I’m proud of is probably having overcome bullying, you know, my mental health struggles and body dysmorphia. That was as it was a result of bullying, which kind of ties into why I ended up in the fitness and health industry.
So I’m first generation Asian Canadian. My parents immigrated here after the Vietnam War. And honestly, with little to nothing. So I grew up eating, you know, things that were on sale, frozen foods, instant noodles, things that we just were not healthy for you. Growing up, I was you know, I put on a little bit more weight than the average person. And I grew up in a very Caucasian community, which meant that I was a minority and stuck out like a sore thumb. From the moment that I was in Grade 4 and onwards, I just bounced around to different schools because of my parents’ jobs. And as a result, I never really had close friends.
When I did have friends, it was kind of going into the popular high school dynamic. That’s where a lot of the bullying came about. I was in high in Grade 9 in 2009. That’s when Instagram and all the social media started really popping off. During that adolescent time when I was in school, cyber bullying became a huge thing. And that was probably one of the biggest struggles that I went through. Having overcome that is definitely one of my biggest success stories and the thing that I’m proud of most.
Tracey Well, I think people don’t realize how difficult it can be for women, particularly being bullied because women are particularly cruel mentally when they bully, I mean, that’s a big deal. It’s crazy. And when we’re hurt, we hurt others.
Evelyn Yeah, and that’s a great thing to remember, too, is that most of the time you’re being bullied by people who are equally hurt.
Tracey So can you describe a moment when you turned one of those incidents into something that that created hope for someone else?
First Gym Membership
Evelyn So I started my own fitness journey and about I want to say, like 2012, it got to the point where my parents actually had to legally separate so that I could go to a different school in a different district.
And so when that happened, they bought me my first gym membership and that was when I kind of started dabbling in the fitness industry. But just like most of your listeners probably are like, you know, experience. There’s something called yo yo dieting and yo yo training where you go to the gym for like a week and then you don’t go for like three months. And that’s what I did for about a year until I got accepted into university.
So I went to Queen’s University in Kingston, and that was really where my I became a fitness professional. So I became a weight room supervisor at the university gym. I got certified as a personal trainer and this was actually after I brought a couple of friends through the fitness journey and saw them transform and just feel better from the inside out. And that’s what I was like, wow, like this. This is my calling. This is where I need to be. I shouldn’t be in linguistics. I should be in fitness. And so that’s kind of where that all evolved.
Evelyn So you were in linguistics at the time at the university. What were you doing in terms of training? Is this weight training? And can you give me an idea of what kind of training you’ve done?
Evelyn So I’ve been a dancer and I’ve been in sports since I was a really young age. But the thing is, is that when you are just doing sports or you’re in dance like you’re not getting everything that your body needs. So, for example, dance is very cardio base. Whereas, you know, if I wanted to both lose weight and build muscle, I needed it to lift weights. So when I went to university, that was when I started really taking weight training seriously. So lifting weights, bodybuilding, that kind of thing.
Tracey OK. So do you still do weights?
Evelyn Yes, I even though I do business coaching for leaders in the fitness and health industry. Now my life and business has a foundation of fitness and health. And so, yeah, that’s that’s the my bread and butter that’s always gonna be a staple in my life.
Tracey OK, so give me a sort of a rough idea of what your weekly schedule would be like. What’s a good fitness regime for you?
Evelyn I like that question. I like how you ask this “for me” because every person is so different. And, you know, I used to be someone that could spend three hours in the gym because I was doing a powerlifting program more in the competition space. But now that I’m more just maintaining my body, I now go to the gym about four to five days a week for about 45 minutes to an hour. But I give myself a lot of freedom to leave the gym early if I need to tend to my dog or if I need to be on coaching calls, et cetera. So my bare minimum is like four to five days and then about 30 minutes to an hour each session.
Tracey OK. And you’re doing with the weight lifting, with your arms, your legs as a full body weight lifting every time I do, you do, you do arms one day, legs another day?
Evelyn So I do more of like a bodybuilding style. I usually, like, choose around like two muscle parts per day. So like on Monday it could be shoulders and chest. On Tuesday it could be my thighs and hamstrings. On Wednesday, it could be my arms. And then I just kind of alternate. So that’s kind of where my background as a personal trainer really does help me. I’m able to kind of wing a lot of things, whereas a lot of people, they don’t know what they’re doing so then they go to the gym and they’re just deer in headlights.
Tracey Yeah. Do you have a cardio workout as well as, you know, like you add cardio to it on a different day?
Evelyn Honestly, cardio is not my friend. So I get cardio in other ways. I actually was assertive. I’m a certified pull fitness instructor, so I got cardio that way. And then also I love to longboard.
Tracey No. OK. So do you do that very often? No, I mean, how can you do that in California?
Evelyn California is huge for longboarding. So when I first moved to L.A., I didn’t have a car so I honestly long boarded everywhere.
Tracey Oh, yeah. That’s fun. I didn’t really. I thought that there were sort of neighborhoods you couldn’t go into so you had to be sort of careful.
Evelyn I stayed more and like, you know, near Santa Monica. The areas that weren’t so crowded.
Tracey Okay. Okay. All right. What can you tell me about your favorite success story? What? How do you take what you know and help other people with it?
Evelyn Well, I think my biggest success story kind of tackles on to what I’m most proud of. You know, having gone through so much with like my own body dysmorphia and body image and then turning that into a thriving business that is now in L.A. I think that’s definitely it. So as a personal trainer and as a fitness coach, I realized that I my mission was to help as many women as possible heal themselves from the inside out and also heal their relationship with food the way that I have. And so I was really, you know, killing it as a fitness coach. But then I realized that me being a fitness coach wasn’t allowing me to help as the most amount of women.
So what I then naturally my business evolved into me being a business coach for other fitness professionals in the industry. So now I teach my exact systems and processes to those people so that they can coach their fitness clients, if that makes sense.
Tracey OK, so your clients are actually coaches and clients. And how did you evolve to do that? I mean, because we’re talking it’s only been a year and a half since you’ve been in the States. Did you have some of these clients before you left Canada?
Evelyn Fun fact, I actually built my first business, which is actually my mom’s home spa business, back in 2012. So I was twelve years old. I was in Grade 7 and we didn’t have much money at that time. So my mom paid me a little bit of money to get her website up and running and now it’s a thriving business. So I’ve always just had an entrepreneurial touch. And so naturally, when it felt like, wow, I’m tapped out. How many people I can actually help? I realized that the only way for me to either grow my business and help more people was to become a business coach for those in the fitness and health industry.
Tracey OK, so this began when you were only twelve. How old are you now?
Evelyn I just turned 24 in October.
Tracey Oh, OK. OK. So this has been a journey of about 12 years. In your bio, you were talking about some of your struggles. Bullying was one of them. You talking about body dysmorphia. So that’s because of the sad diet, which actually is so typical. It’s really hard to eat well when you don’t have a lot.
Evelyn Exactly. And it’s also education.
Tracey Oh, so talk to me about did you educate yourself? Because it’s not something that I don’t believe school does.
To do hard things, make them fun
Evelyn Oh my God. I could I could not agree more. I actually was just interviewed by a magazine. And they were asking me, you know, who was my role model growing up for fitness and health? Honestly, there was none. There really wasn’t at my school.
You know, our schools, I feel like they do try sometimes to, you know, teach us. But I don’t know if you feel the same way. but growing up when I did fitness or health in school, like it always felt more like a chore than it was something exciting. They would make you run BEEP tests and make you do push ups and make you do all these things that were not fun. But the approach that I started taking on was like, if you want to make someone do something that’s hard, you’ve got to make it fun and enjoyable for them. And so that’s kind of my philosophy towards fitness and health is making fitness fun.
So for me, I actually was self-taught for everything health and fitness. And that’s why it took me about three years before I really got the results that I really wanted, because it was a lot of trial and error. It was a lot of going on Google, YouTube, doing things wrong. And then the moment when I got certified was when I started learning about proper form and technique. And that is really when my results came really quick.
Tracey It’s so different. I mean, it’s funny because you’re talking about what I was in school. I mean, I am 56. So I was in school for a long time. It was completely different. And we didn’t have the Internet when I was going to school, which I think changes everything, too. So when you talk about school, it’s like it’s almost like everybody has a library in their pocket. For me, the library was my safe haven.
Evelyn You know, I feel you. I’m born in 95. Actually, I think my years were among the last years without area codes. One day I went and called and my mom’s like, no, honey, you need a 6, 1, 3. And I was like, wait, why is it so crazy?
How times have changed since since then.
Tracey Yeah. Well, that’s sort of I feel like that’s something that people my age can learn from people your age because you grew up with Google and the need to find information publicly and the need to communicate publicly in order to grow.
Can you talk a little bit about how you’ve actually done that. Maybe we can talk about one way that it succeeded and one way that it failed and you had to revise it?
Adapt or Fall Behind
Evelyn Yes, that was a good question. So, one way that it succeeded. I mean, making money online is a thing more than ever. And it’s one of those things where you gotta adapt or you’re going to fall behind.
I was actually just at a shopping mall yesterday doing some Christmas shopping. And I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the brand Forever 21. I love shopping with them, but they are one of the brands that wasn’t able to keep up with consumers demands to shop online. They didn’t make their company or their products accessible to people online. And so, unfortunately, they kind of had to get left behind.
So I feel like a lot of people in my generation, like millennial’s and stuff, if they’re not taking advantage of what’s available to them in the online space, they are really missing out. Because the thing about online entrepreneurship is that you’re able to work with people outside of your geographical location. And that’s amazing. You’re not only working with more people, but you also have the opportunity to make more. So that’s definitely one thing. It’s just there’s so many opportunities. It’s insane. But the downside is that I just find that there’s less real human connection.
And there’s less, honestly, love is what I’m noticing. We would rather hide behind a camera and or a phone or a computer rather than directly confront someone. We would rather text someone rather than give someone a ring. And I just noticed that so much like we’re really lacking that personal touch and human connection.
Tracey Wow. Yeah. No, it’s it’s true. And making that personal connection with strange with people who are far away from you because they’re no longer strangers if you’re connecting with them online. I’ve noticed this with friends that I’ve made in groups and things the that the relationship changes if you can actually meet in person at least once, at least occasionally. You know, you’ve become friends. Bye bye.
Evelyn Actually. Or like if you really, you know, live really far. Then like got on Skype or Facetime. Like, see the other person, you know, be able to like feel their energy instead of just like words and text.
Tracey Yeah. Yeah, it’s fine. I mean, is this the sort of giving me that feeling like I’m getting to know you better be by by just talking with you?
No, because he can’t because you can’t know a person without actually communicating.
Evelyn 100 percent. I could not agree more.
Tracey So what about something that you tried and failed at first and then you revised it? You know, a story that I tried at first and I if I am someone who is or just something that you fell about and then dropped, that would work, too, because we don’t want to think that your perfect.
Pivot and Struggles
[00:19:21] Oh, Tracey, Evelyn is not perfect, if you follow on social, you’ll see. Let’s see if I feel like there has been a couple of scenarios. So, you know, there is this one scenario, my professional career, where I really trust to someone I’m a very trusting person sometimes to a fault. And right when I moved to L.A., I decided to work for somebody else. She was also another fellow business coach. I was actually a head coach in her group coaching program. And I was really excited. This was, in my eyes going to be the start of this new chapter of Evelyn.
And three days before the program was supposed to start. I was actually laid off because I was seen as a threat to the company. And mind you, this is after I moved from Canada to L.A. So for the Canadians, you know you know, our currency isn’t that great when you convert over to the US dollars. So I was it was a really challenging time. And during this time, because of logistics, I wasn’t able to share my story or be able to talk about it. So I was really struggling behind the scenes that nobody else really knew about or I could really talk about.
And that is a huge thing in entrepreneurship. Like we sometimes feel like we have to put on this fake face just to look like we’re holding it all together. But a lot of us are really you know, we’re going through a lot in the background, you know, people not supporting us, people backstabbing us, people turning on us, et cetera. But I will tell you, that taught me to depend on myself and that taught me that I was the only person who was going to really make my dreams happen. And so from that point on, that gave me the fire lit under my tushy, needed to build the business that I have now.
Tracey Wow. And that’s not that long ago because you’ve only been there for a little more than a year. So the business that you have now, can you talk a little bit about that? What do you mean you I know you have this thing called EVOLVE. That’s your system? I love that name.
Evelyn It’s my method. Yeah. My first business name is called EH fitness. Technically, it could stand for Evelyn Huynh fitness, but I was a linguistics major and one of the modules and things that we study was Canadianisms, so because of my Canadian background, my business name was actually like an homage to Canada. So EH fitness not only stands for Evelyn Huynh Fitness, but it’s also very Canadian based because we say that all the time.
TraceyYou’re the perfect interview for a podcast called Unapologetically Canadian!
Evelyn My American friends always call me out on it because I still say that all the time. Yeah. So that’s that was my first business, which was very fitness based. And then now I have Evolve with Evelyn, which is my business coaching. So like I mentioned to you earlier, I help other leaders in the fitness and health industry as well as photographers make more money and have more time through the online space. So I basically help them build their businesses online. And I also do life coaching. So it’s kind of like a life, business and fitness coaching hybrid that I do for my clients.
Tracey It’s very interesting because, I mean, as a millennial, you have so much insight into how online business works. It’s probably even intuitive.
Evelyn It’s one of those things where as a fitness coach, when you talk to credible fitness coaches who’ve done it for a long time. As a fitness coach, when someone tells me like let’s say Jenna for hypothetical, Jenna says, oh, I’ve when I am 5 foot 3, I weigh X amount of pounds. This is my history. I’m able to just already piece together what the program is for them or what the future of their fitness journey is going to look like. Just like how I’m able to do that with those businesses. So when they tell me the current stats of their business, you know how long they’ve been in business, what their current offers are. I’m able to. Okay, Jenna, this is what’s going to happen in the next three to six months. And it’s going to cool. It’s very intuitive at this point.
Tracey So, what is Evolve? Does it stand for something? Is it an acronym. What is it?
Evelyn’s EVOLVE Method
[00:23:34] Okay all you listeners on unapologetically Canadian, take notes because this evolve method will literally change your life.
So the evolve method is something that I used to coach my clients and it’s something that I encourage them to use with their own clients.
I’ll just kind of tell you and kind of explain briefly. The EVOLVE method is something that I argue that every human should audit their life based on it and as long as each of these pieces are in your life, it’s a good life.
E is for Energy
[00:24:02] So the first E stands for energy. So everything we energy is everything, right? Like attracts like.
[00:24:09] So the energy if we want to get that energy in our life, we’ve got to produce good, good energy outwards. But that also comes from like where our mental energy is at and also physical. So that’s your training, your nutrition, your mindset, your personal development and your spiritual development.
So the first thing I ever get people to audit is whereas your physical health that whereas your mental health and what changes and what things can you do to improve on that. If that makes sense. So that’s energy, because when you feel good, you do good things.
V for Vision
The first V is vision. If we don’t have a vision in life, either for life or for our business, we will get there. And so one of the. And, you know, especially being at entrepreneurship, what I’ve found is that when people don’t have a clear vision, they don’t do the necessary things that they need to attain their goals. But when you have a big enough vision, you know what’s at stake.
Tracey Yeah, yeah. Oh, no. I mean, I love it. I’m part of something called the Visionary Business School, and I think that changed everything. Vision really does really matters. And it’s not. It’s not even clear why or how, because usually the things that you think that you usually the thing you think it meant isn’t what it meant.
Evelyn It’s true! I just feel like so many of us are so like we’re kind of living in like the next like three to six months. Like we’re not thinking long term. And that’s where I’ve noticed that technology has really screwed up a little bit. Is that everyone wants things now. Everyone’s only thinking about right now, but they’re not thinking long term, whether long term health or long term vision in their life. So visioning is definitely really important.
O for Organized
Evelyn I’m a very type A organized person. My dad’s a software engineer. I’m exactly like him. I’m very analytical, very spreadsheets. So my clients love me for my organizational skills. I give them to-do lists. So I just want to ask you, like, are you like what? Where how how is your life organized? Like, do you have routines? Do you have a morning routine? Are you going to the gym? Are you following a planner? Do you use a schedule? Things like that. Because honestly, I want to be honest with you, being a dog mom, moving around, traveling, working and also doing fitness, the only way that that all happens is because I have a schedule and I follow it.
Otherwise, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping it sticks.
Tracey Yeah. If it’s not my calendar, I don’t do it. But I’m a type A or. OK, that’s true. That’s true. That’s fair. I love working. You know, I feel like not everybody can be anxious.
Evelyn Maybe they just gotta find other ways for them to be organized. Maybe it’s not a to do list. Maybe it’s just, you know, telling themselves that they have like X amount of things that they need to do in the week and then just figuring out which day they’re doing what.
Evelyn Yeah. Radically. And then
L is for Love
Evelyn I know it sounds a little cliche, but after being in business and meeting so many people from all around the world, I just notice that a lot of us are really lacking love in our life. And love is the answer to everything, honestly. Like when we feel love, we want to give more love. I just noticed, you know, when people are bullying, when people are trolling on the Internet, it’s usually because they’re going through something, like we were mentioned earlier. So I always lead with love in my coaching and I encourage my clients to do the same. That really makes a difference in our life and business. Like just really ask yourself and then explain.
Tracey That also explains why you’re in Ottawa right now. Because you spent a lot of time coming back, which also probably gave you some of the impetus to make your business successful enough so you can come back to Ottawa regularly.
Evelyn You hit the nail on the head. That’s honestly why I come back every three weeks. I was just here three weeks ago. I come back so often and some people don’t understand why. And I’m really glad that you do, because sometimes I tell people you’re like, why do you go home so often? I’m like, because it’s family and love is the most important thing to me.
Tracey It’s wonderful. I mean, that’s lovely. I love it so much. So far, I’m so with you on the EVOLVE path.
V for Value
Evelyn So the last thing stands for value. So again, like attracts like. The value vibration attracts value. So if I want to have more value in my life, I’ve got to give more value. So that’s kind of how I function. If you follow me on my Instagram or any of my social platforms, I aim to always put value in there every single day. So I put value on business, fitness, health mindset, anything like that, because then it always just comes back to me. So I always encourage my clients. I guess you want your business to succeed. Give more value if you want to be happy in your life. Make someone’s day. Give them some value because it will always come back to you tenfold.
E for Empower
And the last E is empower, which is why one of my favorites, because as you can probably agree, that when women are empowered, we make things happen.
Evelyn We empower women, empower other women. And so that’s just my motto is just if I can empower more women to feel empowered. That’s going to create a ripple effect.
Tracey Oh, my gosh, that’s wonderful. Yeah, it’s very positive thinking, too, because if you can I mean, the advantage of empower means that when you do have struggles, you can think, OK, if I can get through this, you shall.
So, yeah, I think my listeners will really appreciate that that coaching idea, because I really think that you’ve captured a whole lot of ideas in a very concise fashion.
So then you get actually you said several times that you have lots of social platforms. Which ones are you on? I assume you’re on Instagram?
Evelyn I’m in the transition of switching my website over because things just as you mentioned, like I’ve only been in L.A. for a year and a lot has happened in that year. So right now, I’m on Instagram and Facebook, but my website we’re just kind of rebuilding that back up. Oh, and YouTube. I’m on YouTube as well.
(Check out Evelyn’s amazing weight loss journey on Youtube. She also has two videos, beginning with this one, describing her tummy tuck operation in detail so that you can decide whether this operation might be for you.)
Tracey And so what type of advice do you have for other entrepreneurs like you? Because it sounds like you’ve gone through really four different trends, maybe even five different positions. Right? Did you recognize that you were an entrepreneur when you were 12? Like when did you come to that realization?
Evelyn That realization? I want to say in 2018, because you don’t feel like an entrepreneur when you’re not making any money. That was my feeling. Like, you know, other people will call me that. But the thing is, is that when you don’t like when you don’t feel like you’ve got all the running parts in your business, you won’t feel like the true CEO or entrepreneur. It’s just gonna feel like you’re it’s a very expensive side hustle or very expensive hobby. So it was honestly until in 2018 when I started actually making some a little bit of cash and I look back and I was like, wow, like I started a business when I was 12. I was an entrepreneur back then. That didn’t happen until many years later.
Tracey Oh, that’s fascinating. And so what advice do you think other entrepreneurs should should give to themselves?
Evelyn The biggest golden nugget is stay in your own lane and define your own version of success, because if you’re constantly focusing on what everyone else’s idea success is, you’ll not only never achieve it, but you’ll never feel fulfilled.
And that’s one of the hardest lessons that I have learned in this past year, was really having to put those blinders on and just focus on my mission in life because it’s so different from other people. And when you’re in a bubble, it’s so easy for your own dreams to get to feel like it’s not as big as other people’s.
Tracey Well, that’s, uh, it’s very, very important to connect to your yes. Yourself first. I mean, you that actually you talked about learning to love yourself. Actually, we should probably talk a little bit about that.
Evelyn That’s probably the one of the biggest transformations was actually learning how to truly love myself from the inside out. Because when, especially as a woman, when you are struggling through body dysphoria, it’s really easy to attach your self-worth to the way that you look.
Tracey Oh, yeah. Well, we all do it. I mean, it’s it’s it’s just it’s a big struggle I have. I find that very difficult now, too, because I’m at a higher weight than I want to be. And it’s like, well, it just doesn’t feel like me. Are you just yourself? And you think that doesn’t feel like me. But it is.
And before our last question, because I always have and the last one.
Do you have anything that I didn’t ask you that you were or anything that you had wanted to mention that I didn’t ask you?
Evelyn No. We talked about so much today and I feel like there’s so many golden nuggets for the listeners to kind of take on, you know, auditing their life with the EVOLVE method. Nothing really pops to mind right now.
Tracey OK, good. Well, then we go to our last question, which is do you yourself? Do you consider yourself a Canadian?
Evelyn Oh, my God, yes. Through and through. It’s it’s really a badge of honor that I wear now. I’m very proudly Canadian. I’m very proud that I started my business in Canada, especially after living in the states.
But, you know, it does feel like it’s a closer. I mean, maybe it’s because Canada is a lot smaller. But, you know, it just seems like the culture the culture here is a lot different. It’s more inclusive. I just feel so much more love. Every time I’m in Canada, and it’s it’s really interesting for me to say that now, especially after having lived in the states for a year, like I truly mean it when I say that I. You feel such a massive, energetic shift when you come to Canada. So to me, being Canadian just means like leading with love and acceptance and understanding.
Tracey How wonderful! That’s such a community-oriented response. Well, thank you very much. I so appreciate your time. It was really just a joy, as you said. I think that my listeners will get tons of value from our discussion. I just I love your whole method.
Like most business leaders, I just had to begin the year 2020 with an essay about my resolutions for the year and decade to come.
[thrive_link color='blue' link='https://www.mixcloud.com/TraceyArial/resolutions-2020/' target='_self' size='medium' align='aligncenter']Listen to the audio here[/thrive_link]
I'm inspired by many movements. They include: business clarity, a focus on creativity and the creation of intellectual assets, financial independence, generosity and resiliency.
I'm horrified by the enormity of our climate change crisis, the wild fires in Australia and a series of xenophobic moves by the Quebec government.
My resolutions attempt to take all these emotions into account. They include two personal intentions: to continue cutting my use of greenhouse gases; and to greet people with "bonjour/hi" as often as possible.
Word of the Year: Share
My word of the year is: share.
This captures my need to focus on generosity. In 2020, I'll be sharing more reviews, more information and more tips as the year goes forward.
In 2019, I created several free resources:
In 2020, I plan to maintain the video schedule at one per month, but will double my podcast distribution, and will create one strong give-away per month. I also plan to better communicate with email subscribers.
More importantly, my experiments in 2019 have given me a better idea about which free resources are most useful, so I'm working on a list of potential products to give away. Please let me know if you need something specific and I'll try to provide it for you. I will create at least three free webinars, an additional guidebook and another free course in 2020 while continuing to give away the ones that were already created.
After several disappointments and lots of business training, at the end of 2019, I began clarifying my business strategy to match my need to create intellectual property assets, live a seasonal life and increase revenue while continuing to serve the community.
That led to a 2020 resolution to focus primarily on business and limit nonprofit involvement to activities within CAUS and Safe EMF.
Resign from two nonprofit boards.
Finish business plans for three entities: my personal author and creative entrepreneur functions; my new personal publishing imprint Notable Nonfiction; and the nonprofit solidarity coop CAUS (in partnership with others).
Begin implementing business plans, modifying them as required.
Update websites to clarify offers, give-aways and strategy.
Create intellectual property assets
For the first few months of 2019, I maintained Monday as a full-day writing day and then added in additional hours as needed. Unfortunately, the schedule never moved my projects forward as quickly as desired.
Then I experimented beginning each day with a three-hour writing session from 6 until 9 with an aim to focus on my priority action before doing anything else. Breakfast and exercising got moved to 9 a.m. and other activities began after that. The new schedule worked much better than holding a single day free. First of all, no one minds reserving activities until 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Also, delaying breakfast meant a longer fast, something that works well in our family as supper often gets delayed until 8, 9 or even 10 p.m.
Exercise didn't fit in as well as it did when I began with that activity, because I often worked through lunch and forgot to take a break. When the schedule held, I created more. I'm a morning person, so writing first thing works well for me. As long as I know what I plan to work on before going to bed, the new schedule has me rushing to my computer and happier at the end of a given week.
I plan to continue the new schedule in 2020, with two differences: I'll exercise at 9 a.m. when possible and eat brunch at 10, except on Saturday when the first three hours will be dedicated to training rather than writing. That will give me a writing break on Saturdays and yet fit in my courses, which I find difficult to fit into my schedule.
For the first couple of months in 2020, I'm going to rigidly track everything using Toggl to validate the schedule and ensure that it actually results in creating more assets.
I got introduced to the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement in July and it's simple idea really appeals to me. It contains three components: spend less, earn more, invest well. I began learning more about investing a few years ago and now handle my own stock purchases, something that's giving me insight into how Canada's public companies function. I wish these concepts were clearer when I was younger, but it's better late than never to take responsibility. The "earn more" part of the stool definitely needs work, so that's what I'll be focusing on in 2020.
Create and promote at least 10 evergreen products in 2020, including three courses and three books. Re-format current products so that clients can purchase items in the formats they like best.
Set up interlinked products in sets of at least three to increase repeat purchases from buyers who get attracted to additional items that might appeal to them.
Ensure that fans can support my work easily. I'm now a Mixcloud select member. Podcast enthusiasts can pay $2.99 per month to show their support and get early access to interviews. I'll be figuring out how to make this a valuable resource for readers during 2020; if you have ideas, please mention them in the comments.
I also plan to set up informative affiliate-linked pages on my website so that people can easily support my work via purchases they want. These will be linked to informative comprehensive question answer blog posts so that the value for readers remains primordial.
Cutting my environmental footprint is an urgent desire. I already eat 95% local produce and plan to challenge myself to cut transportation further. Prior to a recent trip to Mexico, I resolved to give up air travel, but the trip changed my mind about that. Travel represents freedom, connection and luxury to me, and I'm not willing to give that up. Now I'm wondering what sacrifice would work instead.
Investigate possible measures to cut my environmental footprint during 2020 and implement at least one of them.