Episode 5: Be a Disruptor – Courage – Pricing, with Louise Neville

Louise Neville is a Brain Health Trainer, Concussion Recovery Specialist, Certified Health Coach, Author and Keynote Speaker. Louise works with Athletes, CEOs, entrepreneurs and individuals to maximize their brain health and optimize their cognitive performance. Louise empowers individuals to reach new levels of health and transform their lives… giving new meaning to our brain+body connection. Imagine a world where everyone knew how to conquer their greatest health concern… and felt empowered to do it? This is the new world she is working to build. Louise is all about inspiring individuals to turn their health dreams into reality. To say she is passionate about ‘shifting’ the world’s collective knowledge around our brain-body metabolic and energy connection… is an understatement! Educating, coaching and inspiring individuals on how to take back their power and become their own health warrior – transforming their life, and fulfilling their health goals – is her “raison d’être” and her passion.

Louise, welcome to the podcast today.

Thank you so much, Colin. I’m really looking forward to being here.

It’s great to have you here. Just give us a little bit of an intro. Give our listeners an intro to who you are, what you do, what have you, so they can understand what kind of business you’re in.

Absolutely. I’m a concussion specialist. I’m a concussion recovery coach and a brain health trainer. So what that means is I work with individuals who have had concussions who really want to fast-track their recovery. I also work from a brain health perspective. I work with CEOs and other individuals and organizations who just really want to maximize their performance and focus and really have that elite brain when we talk about brain performance.

Beautiful. Thank you, Louise. Of course, it’s really interesting of how people interact when there’s certain business types they’re in, in terms of doing business in terms of what you’re in. So give us an idea of how do you even get into this? I guess, was this something for you that you woke up one day and said, “I want to be a concussion specialist and help people,” or what have you been through that’s really got you on this journey to really serving other people that have these challenges?

Absolutely, that’s a great question, Colin. For me, it all came from experience-driven. So I have had multiple concussions in my own life. I suffered from post-concussion syndrome a few times, and my last concussion actually almost ended my life. So it was very severe. I had lost a good chunk of my vision. I had almost no short-term memory. So we’re talking about a really reduced quality of life. I had been working with those symptoms for just almost a year, and I had 20 different specialists, and at that point, all of them were sort of, “This is going to be your life. This is what you need to cope with.”

I’m an a-type. I just didn’t want to accept that, and that really drove me to seek out other solutions and other answers. So I started working with R&D specialists. I really only did research and looked at research within the last two years, and not only on concussion, but on brain health as a whole. I pieced different research components together and came up with more of a recovery system, if you will, and really looked at how to maximize brain power. So, from that research and that system, when I started implementing that, within three months, I was fully recovered. All symptoms gone, completely shocked my specialist that had told me differently.

What happened is actually the business started organically. People just started hearing my story, and then I started to do some coaching here and there. Then it really turned into, wow, this is a real need out there in the world, specifically in North America. For various reasons, Canada’s different in terms of our healthcare than the US, but both countries have challenges and the outcome is the same. It’s that we’re not necessarily getting the right care from a concussion standpoint. Most people don’t even understand how to really maximize their brain to a new level of performance. That is absolutely possible, but we don’t really talk about that in life.

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It is possible to maximize your brain to a new level of performance. Click To Tweet

So what happened is I started the business and definitely started really getting the value, both from an education point of view, out there to the marketplace and to different clients, but also it was very rewarding for me to see people improve considerably when they have stories just like mine around their doctors didn’t really know how to fast-track their recovery. They’ve been told different things. It’s been a really rewarding experience.

I hear that. I think the key thing for me and what I want our listeners to actually just think through today is…you went through 20 specialists. You went through people that said to you, “You’re going to be this way for the rest of your life. You’re going to have limited vision. You’re going to have all these challenges going forward.” And you were adamant that, no, that would not happen. What I want our listeners to hear is there’s opportunity in your adversity. You’ve created a business. Your story’s become such a huge part of creating such a successful business.

I want people to listen to this because every time you have a challenge that happens in your life, so many people look for the danger inside their challenge or inside their crisis, but there’s so much opportunity inside every crisis or challenge that happens in our lives. I just hope that people just hear this and think it through, that there might be a business owner lying there, going, “My goodness, I have so much challenge in my life right now.” But listen to what Louise has to say. There’s opportunity in it. Yes, right in the situation right now, you might not hear that.

Louise, I look at … I don’t want to get too much into the politics of things here, but the NFL in the United States, there’s so many, apparently, major lawsuits on the go with concussions because of course these people are bashing their heads against each other because they have this false sense of protecting wearing helmets. I grew up playing rugby. You used your head to think through the strategy of the game. You didn’t use your head to stop other people. That fascinates me, how much opportunity there actually is in the whole … or, actually, how much concussion, sadly, there is in the marketplace in terms of the world and around us happening every single day.

Absolutely, Colin. In terms of concussions, you mentioned politics. There’s a lot of politics around this topic, not only from a sporting aspect but also from a medical community aspect. We have a lot of healthcare practitioners that are using old protocols for how to manage concussion or brain injury. In the sporting world, there’s lots of cover-ups on many different fronts, by the way, so we have the cover-up that I think a lot of people are sort of familiar with. It started with the NFL, but which is that concussion is a brain injury, and the more concussions you have in your life, you’re more at risk for something called CTE, which is a very highly damaging condition later on in life and can cause death. Then, we also have the helmet industry, actually. There’s been this widespread proliferation … concept of helmets have to be in every sport. Helmets can save your life, but the way that helmets are designed today actually contributes to some concussions, so …

Wow. That’s crazy.

It is crazy. We’re not getting the right information, and there’s cover-ups on multiple fronts, right? I think, obviously, not saying one person’s to blame because that’s not accurate either. It’s just if we take the helmet industry right now, it’s people trying to do the right thing. They thought that helmets were the right approach. I think in five years, 10 years, they will be. In five years, you’ll see, probably, different design. You’ll see a lot more ventilation in helmets. You’ll see a much more lighter helmet.

Because helmets right now, they do two things. They change the physics of weight when we’re accelerating or decelerating, so that’s why the brain inside the skull can move around and create a bit more bruising. But, also, it creates heat. As we know with anything, when we have heat, everything expands, and so the brain is a bit closer to the skull so, again, that can cause a bit more bruising, which is technically a concussion. So, when we think about this, it’s people trying to do the right thing, but then now that the technology is improving and that we’re not probably using the right helmets for the right types of sports, now there seems to be this cover-up instead of people just being open and honest around, “Hey, listen, we need some new designs. We didn’t get it right out of the gate the first time. Let’s go back to the drawing board and get this done, right, for people’s safety.”

Absolutely, and I think what’s really happening here is the entire industry’s putting a helmet on and trying to bounce these accusations or these challenges off. What a great amount of opportunity in this. I really love what you’re doing, and I trust our listeners are seeing there’s opportunity in every situation, but as a business owner taking your challenge and turning it into an opportunity, what would you say, if you went back five years, whatever the duration is, and you went back and you said to yourself, “You know what? There’s things I’m doing today I wish I’d done five years ago or known five years ago,” as you got into making this into a business, what would that piece of advice be that you would say was one of the key things that you wish you had learned earlier on to make this into a business and really run with things? What could you share with our listeners today?

Absolutely. I had mentioned earlier, I said this started a little bit organically, and I don’t think I was confident in the business model or that there was even a market out there for concussion recovery coaching. So I don’t think I really fully, in the early days, trusted in that business model. For all your listeners out there, I think the key thing is really trust in yourself. If you have a business idea and you develop your business plan and it’s solid, trust in that and action it right away. Don’t wait. Because obviously the marketplace can change if you wait, you may lose confidence in yourself if you wait, so it’s one of those things of if I look back and I think, “What would I have done differently,” I would’ve jumped in with two feet right away. That’s really a lesson that I want to share with others.

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Yeah, and I think the key thing is, if you haven’t got a business plan and you’re listening, that’s something you should have, which I’ll be talking on an upcoming podcast pretty soon. For people to really think this through is that you’ve put this plan together, you have this courage of your convictions, what have you, and then how many people threw darts at you and said that it wasn’t possible to build a business? Do you have any family or friends that thought you had the most crazy idea? Maybe they thought that your concussion was still active.

Oh my gosh, yes, Colin, yes. Oh. So I actually had a definitely two-fold problem. The first thing is that, in my personal experience, some people knew about my concussion, other people did not, and so it was hard for me to even understand who at this point knew. It was also interesting because I didn’t want to just blast out, “Hey, I’m recovered from my concussion.” I wasn’t ready at that moment to do that. As the months went on, I just didn’t even realize that some people still thought that I had a concussion or concussion symptoms, which was interesting in itself.

But in term of the naysayers, I definitely had quite a bit of that when I talked with specific medical organizations. The medical community is a bit more of a niche community in itself. For them, there’s a lot of nay-saying in terms of, “Well, concussions don’t really need coaching. This is not really what we recommend.” When you take hits to your person and obviously to your confidence, you really have to get past that because had I listened to them, then I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today, and I wouldn’t be helping the many people that I am helping today. That’s a really key thing, really going back to having that self-confidence in your business plan and in whatever you’re trying to deliver, if it’s service-based, whatever service you’re trying to deliver to the community and to your target market.

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If I had listened to the nay-sayers, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. Click To Tweet

Yeah, and what I love about this is how you’ve taken this amazing opportunity, and, yeah, you’ve got the medical community saying, “Well, no, you could never do it.” I think it’s the same thing that happened with the taxi industry and Uber. Everyone said that Uber would never be successful, and now the taxi industry is screaming, attempting as much as they can to shut down Uber, and Uber just keeps on growing and growing into multiple markets. I think that’s what you’ve done. You’ve been the disruptor in your industry. There’s a traditional way of doing it, and doctors have said, “No, you can only do it this way.”

I want our listeners to realize you need to be a disruptor in your own industry. People say you cannot do something, even people at a very high level. Of course we all respect doctors, they go through a lot of education to get where they are today, but the challenging part is they only have one way of doing it. Remember, the more educated you become, the more specialized you become in a much smaller slice of the pie as opposed to being more open and a greater general knowledge of what’s happening around the world.

I think the key thing for me, for our listeners to really listen to this today, Louise, is that there was opportunity and people attempted to shut you down and even maybe even say that you still had symptoms of concussion by doing what you were doing. But the key thing is you had the courage of your convictions, you had the plan, and you followed through on it. If there was one piece of advice, Louise, today that you could really give our listeners in terms of … As they move forward and they have their plan and what have you or whatever they need, what would that piece of advice be to really help people stay committed to what they’re doing even though they’re going to face some challenges as they move forward? Is there anything you can say to them, like, “Listen, listeners, this is what I did to stay committed even though I’ve got these people telling me I couldn’t do it?” How did you stay committed on a daily basis to get where you are today?

Absolutely. To stay committed, there’s not one thing, for me anyways. It was a multitude of things. One, it was being surrounded by really great people, really supportive business owners, and really having that community of support where there’s a lot of open-mindedness.

Also, I guess, when we talk about confidence, it’s also all around making sure that you really come back to why you’re doing this. Obviously, anyone listening, if you’ve taken any of Colin’s courses, you’ll know the universal challenge line. I’ve hit that many times, that universal challenge line, and for me, what really gets me through is when I come back, I center myself and I really go back to, Why am I doing this? I’m doing this to truly help others. I’m doing this to make sure that other people feel empowered in their recovery, other people understand that they can improve their health, they can improve their brain health, and they can get to a better place. When I really focus back onto that, if you want to call it, that heart-centered purpose, that really gets me through. That really powers me through to that next level, to really say, “This is why I’m doing it, and because of this, I’m not going to let anyone stop me because I know that there is value. I see value every single day when I work with my clients.”

Yeah, and I think that you’ve also seen it, too, when you know you’re living on purpose and you know you have a real true mission and why in life is when you start to go from doing one-on-one coaching, which I know you do a lot of one-on-one coaching. You’ve also made a really big decision to move into actually doing workshops where people can come out –


… that have concussions to really understand. You want to help as many people as you can, and that’s the real leverage part of it. Instead of working one-on-one, it’s working one-on-many for people to even understand this, more so, even the family members to understand what’s happening with their family. We’ve had some challenges here, even at my own company, of people that have been through concussions and really behaving in a certain way and really, we sit back and we go, “Wow, I can’t believe that person behaved that way.” But then you realize a lot of it has to do with the concussion that they have or that they think they’ve overcome already.

It’s so awesome to hear you as you walk through your business and what you’ve done. I’d like to just ask, really dig into a really important question of what are you going to do going forward? You say you have a why and you have your own purpose and what have you. What do you see in the next five years for your business? So, what are you going to be maybe doing differently or what have you thought through of or what are you going to be doing pricing-wise maybe? Maybe you started out at a certain price range, and now you’re starting to realize, “I should’ve had higher prices from the day I started.” What are you doing differently around what you’ve learned so far in the last five years or the last few years that you’re going to carry forward and even maybe dig deeper into so that you actually continue to build and serve so many people.

Absolutely. I think that that’s more of a three-part question for me. The first thing is you mentioned Uber earlier, and I just really want to go back on that, so Uber as a disruptive industry. What I’m doing right now, as you mentioned, is quite disruptive, so what I’ve done is I’ve basically taken concepts that really exist more in other industries, and I’m applying them into the health industry. So when we talk business coaching, if you’re at 500,000 in your business and you want to get to a million, it’s a pretty no-brainer that you can get a business coach. You might hire a business coach, you might take, Colin, some of your courses as a trainer, someone to coach you through this, right? Because this is what we do. In relationships, relationship coaching is becoming a little bit more of a known practice, if you’re having troubles in your relationship, to get some coaching on that and how to move forward.

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Take concepts that exist in other industries and apply them to your industry. Click To Tweet

But health coaching doesn’t really exist. It’s really interesting that I’m taking principles from other industries and applying them in health. From that disruptive type of concept, what that’s created for me is some opportunity. I challenge your listeners as you listen to this to really think about what other principles that are out there in maybe other industries or maybe in different business models that you can now apply to your business model. Sometimes, we get stuck in one mode of working. Well, it’s always been done this way, and this is the way I should do it. So I really challenge you to take little tips and tricks and techniques from other places and bring them into your business. So that’s the first thing.

Let me just add to that for a second, Louise, because I think that’s such a great point, before you carry on. I think the key thing is for people to really see that, that there’s so many great tips and strategies out there from different industries. People come to me very frequently, they’ll say to me, “Colin, you’re not a realtor. You’ve never had a concussion. How can you be a concussion coach. You’re not a mortgage broker. How can you coach me as a mortgage broker?” I go, “That’s the thing I want you to realize.” When you get stuck in your industry, all you ever seem to hear is, “Well, it’s only done this way in our industry,” and what Louise is saying to listeners today is that you need to sometimes get out of your industry, do things differently. Stop being the taxis of the world, be the Uber of the world in your industry by using different strategies and techniques from other industries.

Absolutely awesome. I’ll let you carry on, Louise. I just wanted to really add that because it’s such an important thing for people to really understand, that there are opportunities and you’ve just got to think outside of the box and sometimes think outside of your industry. Go get a coach or mentor or someone who’s not in your industry because if they are, often they’ll tell you it’s only done one way, and that’s the way your industry’s always done it. Be the disruptor, don’t be the conformer.

Absolutely. That’s a great way to put it, Colin. Thanks. When you do that, that creates opportunities. It actually will create new opportunities that you may not even have envisioned. For me, I had initially only envisioned ever doing one-on-one coaching, and so what that’s now turned into for me is I’m running workshops. I actually run a Calgary concussion group out here in Calgary. It’s just allowed me, really, to expand into a one-to-many type of environment, helping more people. Interestingly enough, it actually created this unique opportunity, when we look at destructing the industry. It created a brand new opportunity I hadn’t even envisioned. What started to happen is people that were interested in brain health but did not have a concussion started to apply some of my techniques and be interested in what I’m doing.

And so you had asked me the question around what am I envisioning for the next five years? I’m actually going to be launching a brand new brand. It’s actually going to be called the Brain-Body Shift. So it’ll be a brain-specific brand, so not concussion, and it’ll be for individuals who are just looking to really increase their brain performance. A lot of the work that I do with concussion and a lot of the techniques that we use and the system as a whole absolutely does apply to improved brain health, even for just any individual looking to improve their health as a whole.

I’m really excited about that. I had never envisioned this when I first started the business. It’s a brand new opportunity for me. Definitely working with organizations and CEOs, looking to help their teams really get to the next level.

So let me ask you a question around, which I really love as well within what you’re doing. Let’s go back to the one key thing. Tell me a little bit about your pricing, where you started off pricing-wise. You don’t have to give me the numbers, but where you started off and where you’re at today and where you’re going around pricing because I think that’s a big part of this whole confidence thing that so many people say, “Oh, no, I need to start off low.” Give us where you’re going and what your experience has been around pricing, and what advice would you give our listeners around pricing?

Absolutely. Initially, I was coaching for free, let’s face it. That’s how it all started for me before I actually did up my business plan and, actually, it kicked off my business. In terms of pricing, I’ve gone through probably, at this point, definitely three sets of pricing. With the Brain-Body Shift, what I’ve also realized, too, with the new brand that I’m going to be launching, is that I realize in that particular sort of environment I’m definitely going to need some online programs, so I’m actually building out some online programs as well. So not only many-to-one or, say, one-to-many group coaching but also some things that you can just download and use on your own.

I think what I would share with listeners is don’t think of your pricing as necessarily … Because you set your price at one point, this is the price that it has to stay at for ten years. I don’t think it really works like that. This is always trial and error. If you can, when you start off, really have that self-confidence to really understand your worth in the marketplace and do that market assessment and really see how you can really affect change and then price that accordingly.

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You don’t have to keep the same prices for 10 years. There is always trial and error. Click To Tweet

For me, it was a little bit hard because, don’t forget, as we talked about earlier, I’m the disruption in the market, so I had no benchmark in terms of what pricing strategies would be effective. For me, it was a little bit of trial and error, and also, understanding my new market is very interesting as well, so the non-concussed market. That would need different online programs, so also I switch it up. I really think that that whole trial and error is really important, piloting different things, very important in my business.

Yeah, and I think that’s one thing I know that I’m going to be doing an upcoming podcast, an upcoming episode, as well, is I’m going to be talking around really cash-flowing your pricing because it fascinates me how many people start out at pricing that they think is really acceptable but actually doesn’t make money. So watch out for that episode. It’ll be coming up in the next few weeks, to all our listeners, around pricing.

So, Louise, thank you for that. This has been awesome today. I really, really love you coming on the show and sharing your brilliance with our listeners. As we round off for today, for me, I really wanted to, most of all, say thank you, Louise. I’m going to just do a little bit of a summary here for our listeners here, a very quick, short summary.

Number one, be courageous. Have the courage of your convictions, everybody. Really, really important. When you make a decision to be a disrupter in your industry and you decide to be a non-conformer, you’re going to get arrows thrown at you and have darts shot at you and what have you by so many different people. That’s okay. You’ve got to get a thick skin so you can move forward and keep on doing it because when you know you’re doing things that are right to serve humanity and you’re doing it through your business, you’ve got to keep going no matter what. And, yes, those arrows might hurt, but guess what? When you get to where you need to be, you become the disrupter. And as you go through your pricing, be thinking of your pricing. Think of your pricing in a very structured way of, “Okay, what can the market bear? What is my pricing currently? Am I even going to make money at what I’m doing?” Have you cash-flowed that pricing? If you’re not sure what the cash flow means, we’ll talk about that in an upcoming episode.

So, Louise, it’s been so super interesting listening to you today, as well as just hearing where you’re going and what you’re doing. I’m sure there’s people out there that might have people in their lives that have had concussion, or they might even be listening and not even know they’re suffering from post-concussion disorder or what have you. So how can people easily get hold of you if they have any questions, what have you? And please, listeners, you’re more than welcome to connect with Louise, but she’s not going to give you free consultation. As much as she said she used to do that, she no longer does that. Just saying. If you want to get hold of Louise … Louise, what’s the easiest way for them to get hold of you?

Absolutely. They can go to my website at www.concussionshift.com.

Louise, just thank you for being on today. I wish you massive success as you go forward, and I look forward, maybe in a few episodes’ time or maybe in a year’s time or so, to get you back on to give us an update on where things are at.

Absolutely. I’d love to, Colin.

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