I am so incredibly excited to introduce you to this months’ cover girl, Julie Parker. Julie is one of Australia’s foremost life and business coaches and trainers with more than a decade’s experience inspiring hundreds of clients and thousands of people to create beautiful lives and businesses. As the CEO and Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Julie passionately trains and supports heart centered and gifted people to bring their talents and love of giving into the world as life coaches.
Julie is a published author and Tedx speaker and has shared a speaking stage with Clare Bowditch, Christina Re, Gretel Killeen, Carolyn Cresswell and our the very first EHM cover girl Gala Darling. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Australia Day Citizenship Award and Business and Professional Women’s Woman of Achievement Award. Julie appears regularly in the media including Today Tonight, A Current Affair, Sunrise and The Morning Show, as well as publications such as Grazia, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Fitness and Health and national newspapers. And if all of that isn’t enough, she is also the Editor in Chief of incredibly popular inspired COACH Magazine.
I can personally attest to Julie’s amazingness having known her for some years now, joyfully watching her sprinkle her magic around the world. It is such an honor to have someone so special grace the cover of EHM and I know that you will love her and her take on inspiring events as much as I do! If there’s one thing I know about Julie, it’s that she LOVES connection. BYCA is a true community of soulful sisters who are gently nurtured and taken care of in so many wonderful ways, including the Beautiful You Inspiration Days, which are quickly gaining notoriety as ‘the’ event to be at. And with these events spanning the globe and being a truly international affair with people flying in from all over the world to attend, there is no one better to chat to about all things inspiration and events.
Thank you so much for speaking with us today Julie, I am absolutely thrilled to have you with us! It’s no secret that I just adore the Inspiration Days, what was your inspiration to start them in the first place?
The Beautiful You Life Coaching Course is online and we have amazing trainees join us from all around the world to do it. In truth though, in person connection is what I love most about being a trainer and coach, and so even though the course is online, I wanted to create opportunities for our trainees to come together in person.
Initially my thought was just a casual gathering over a cup of tea and some nice cake – however when I heard that people were genuinely thinking about travelling from all corners of the world to be with us – I knew we had to step up our game! And I was really glad to do so.
It was then that I started to think as big and creatively and abundantly as I could to make these days really stand up to their namesake and be inspiring, beautiful, memorable and a highly attractive part of the course and what we do. And that is what has happened which I am so thrilled about.
Now these events are global with two beautiful ones that were held in New York and Sydney earlier this year and exciting ones coming up in Melbourne, Bali, San Francisco and even Paris. What are some of the challenges that you face when taking an event on the road and how do you deal with them?
Hosting any large event comes with lots of logistical puzzles to solve, but when you do them with a great team like I have those puzzles can be fun. Things absolutely do get more complex though when you are on the road like we are with some of the biggest challenges being travel needs, foreign languages, cultural differences and the varying expectations of what is consider standard or acceptable in the event and hospitality sector from one country to the next – or even one city to the next too.
They are all so different but that’s what is part of the fun and joy of these events too. And without question the biggest antidote or puzzle solver to them all is outstanding organisation and planning done well in advance. While I am all for a spontaneous night out, picnic, or visit from a friend – I’ve learned that there is no way you can ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ or creatively wish or just hope that things will fall into place for such an event that can involve people flying into from all over the world.
Meticulous planning is a must. And I wouldn’t have it any other way as the results – even though you feel a bit crazy booking venues and looking at speakers a year and a half in advance – are always worth it. I’ve learned this especially on the day when little things do go wrong (and there are always little things that go wrong!) and you realise that they could have been so much worse if it had not been for the planning you had done prior.
The Inspiration Days aren’t small events, we can have up to 80 people in the room, but you do manage to get around and meet everyone and even have photos with the graduates at the end of the event! Something I admire about you is your wonderful ability to lovingly take care of everyone in the room. How do you think hosts can ensure that their guests are taken care of?
The key is to really make it a conscious part of the event to do so. We can all go into events or workshops we are hosting with the loving intent to meet and greet everyone, but unless we actually plan out how that is going to happen and what it will take to make it happen – the simple fact is that it might not happen!
I always make sure I am at the arrival area to greet every person that comes in at that registration time – without fail. There is nothing more important to me at the time our trainees are stepping into the room than for me to see them and give them a big warm hug of welcome. And that means that at such an incredibly busy time where people can have lots of needs, I have to be surrounded by a great team of people that can take care of those needs, and it not fall on my shoulders to fix, find or follow up with something. I’ve got an important thing to do of my own and I don’t want anything to divert my attention from that. And so we plan – meticulously – for it to be that way.
This does not mean that everything goes perfectly all the time – it doesn’t – as even with late arrivals I clearly may have had to move on to another need (such as being on stage!) and have to try and catch people at a later time if I can.
I think one of the most beautiful things about these events is that it really is a full experience –physically, emotionally and spiritually which is a complete reflection of you and BYCA and how you like to teach your students. How important do you think it is to have a holistic event that engages people on different levels? Are powerpoint slides and morning tea enough?
It’s incredibly important as we all learn and are stimulated in different ways. Some of us are very visual so those slides or flowers or a lovely set stage are important. For others what they hear and how they hear it is key – different voices, speakers, music – are what gets them excited. And for others it can be touch – something to hold, pick up and be more intimately a part of in a whole body way – that will see them learn best. And we try to incorporate all these sort of stimuli at our events to help everyone in the room have an amazing experience.
And yes, that does create a holistic feeling which in the end is the most important thing of all – to help people there feel something within them. To leave with a memory or sensation of not just what they saw or read or ate – but rather the feeling they experienced and how it helped them have a truly memorable time.
I know that you LOVE these days and everything about them, but is there a certain part of the day that just really lights you up and gives you an incredible amount of joy? A part of it that may even make you want to shed a few happy tears?
It’s always the beginning and the end for me. Seeing the faces and getting to meet our trainees for the first time in person is so joyous. I love it so much and cannot wait for it to happen every time.
And then it’s those last moments on stage in front of everyone – the time where we are saying goodbye but also “I believe in you. You’re amazing. Thank you for being a part of my dream.” There is nothing that beats that time for me of feeling both so connected to so many other people but also myself.
A beautiful side effect of running events is that when they are done right, they can have such a wonderful flow on effect for your business and help lift your profile even higher. How do you believe your Inspiration Days positively affect your business and your brand?
I know they impact them hugely as we experience an upswing in course enquiries and enrollments every time we host one. The sharing on social media throughout the day and afterwards is incredible – which we encourage and are also so grateful for. We want our trainees and coaches to share with everyone how committed they are to their learning, building relationships and being part of something incredible. And they do.
We also ensure that at every one of our events we have a professional photographer and are able to use those photos in any way we want. Having them means we can use them in publicity, blog posts, our magazine and promoting the course – and they truly are worth their weight in gold. Happy, beautiful smiling faces of real trainee life coaches and life coaches beat stock images hands down every time!
This is one cheeky question we like to ask our cover girls, just like musicians have riders, business owners usually develop their own little list of must haves. What can’t you live without at your events?
Well – I could say something like French champagne and bowls of pink M&M’s but I’d be lying! It’s truly the simplest things for me that I’ve come to know are must have’s including…
- Endless iced water
- Comfortable shoes
- Fresh flowers
- My husband and go-to guy never far away as the one face in the room who knows how hard I’m working and that he’s got my back
And finally, for the entrepreneurs and business owners out there who want to know the secret sauce of a great event that is raved about for the days, months and years to come, what is your best advice?
Focus on how you want everyone coming to your event to feel when they leave you at the end of the day. Do you want them to be inspired? Peaceful? Amped up? Beautiful? Ready for action?
If you focus on how you want everyone there to feel and you base every decision you make around that – your event will be an incredible success. It will help you choose a venue, decorations, the music, the speakers, and so much more, all with the intent to create an amazing experience that will have people talking about you endlessly and spreading the good word about who you are and how you made them feel something in a truly memorable way.
And I think you will all agree, there is so much richness and generosity in Julie's answers. This woman knows her stuff! Keep up to date with all things Beautiful You HERE and if you ever have the chance to get to an event that is Julie is at - just go. Don't think twice, get that ticket!
Cover photo and photos 1, 3 and 5 belong to Eyes of Love Photography
Photos 2 and 4 belong to Katya Nicholas Photography