Maxim, Wellness & Business coach and Founder of www.livewithsmile.com, started his entrepreneurial journey as a personal trainer and wellness coach. Through the years of self education and working with clients in achieving their health goals, he realized that real wellness is achieved through a balance and fulfillment in finances, relationship, parenting, and of course, self-care. His mission is to help stay at home mothers, parents or those who are not fulfilled in their life to breakthrough their beliefs, transform their relationship and communication as well as start building an online coaching, consulting or experts business that will both allow them generate more income, free more time, promote self-growth and in the end lead to that desired fulfillment with finances, relationship, kids and well being.
You’re the Wellness & Business Coach combining Health, Wealth, and Fulfillment into your work. Why are those three topics so important to you and how did you become an expert within it?
I started my journey about five years ago when I have begun my wellness coaching business here in Hong Kong. I started it while I was still working full time as a logistics manager of a beauty company. And I can tell to you one thing - I hated my job. It made me stressed, and it has impacted my quality of life physically and mentally, which lead to it affecting my family relationships.
So firstly, I have done it for me: I needed to re-establish my health and get control over my life and start getting independent while calling my own shots and having the ability to grow and expand. Thru the years, I was involved in self-development one way or another: Reading books, attending seminars, working with coaches, participating in mentorship programs, doing online courses - you name it. With my experience working with clients on the health aspect, I have realized that many of them are in some form or shape in the same situation I was in the past: Stuck in a workplace, they don’t enjoy.
So I decided to change that and start working with people to achieve financial, parenting, relationship and health fulfillment because they are interlinked and impacting each other. It took me a lot of reading, conversations, coaching sessions and just seeing what’s going on around in the coaching industry to find my voice and fine-tune what I do and its reason.
You’re living in Hong Kong right now. How is that, and did you move there because of business reasons?
I moved to Hong Kong over 12 years ago, and it was not business related (in a sense). Back then, I was working in a bank while living with my parents. I had a conversation with a friend of mine where I told him that I know that I will get stuck with my parents forever if I do not do something drastic. So I looked for jobs that include relocation, and I chose Hong Kong as it was a cool destination to practice martial arts ( I am a certified Tai Chi instructor ), so I said let's jump do it. Since then many things have changed, but my passion for health and wellness has never changed and probably never will.
Connecting with moms is something you’re good at. What do you think is the reason for that, and what kind of help are they mostly looking for that you can provide them with?
Being a parent myself while going through pretty rough times with my kid and my wife that almost led to divorce - I learned to see things not only from my side but from hers (realizing how self-centered we are without actually paying attention to it) , which I think helped me better understand what mothers are going through and to have this immediate connection and understanding. I don’t know if women are more comfortable to work with women or men when they go through coaching but what I found is that every time I had a coaching call with a woman/mom, I was able to get her entire life story pretty much in 1 call with everything she went through and they were willing to share it with me willingly.
"That's why many mothers sink in depression and anxiety."
I guess people feel comfortable opening up to me - I think there is a truth to that. When I had done my research, I discovered that mothers, be it if they are working moms or stay at home, will always be torn apart between investing in themselves and their family. If they are working, it is usually work stress combined with missed time with the kids. if its stay at home moms they tend to lose their identity and find that they live their kids' lives instead of their own and at some point, they realize they gave everything to everyone, but they got nothing for themselves. No one appreciates that. So that's why many mothers sink in depression and anxiety.
They are stressed in their relationship, and it is not helping anyone. What I do is to help them first to identify their real deep-rooted challenges to overcome so that they can be in control of what's going on with them and have clarity and direction in life. Then I help them start an online business of service and contribution ( be it as a coach, a consultant or an expert of some kind ). That both helps them achieve a sense of purpose, start generating income for themselves - which many times get them back their confidence and independence and build themselves up as the best partner and mother they can be so the whole family will be happy and fulfilled in all the aspects I have mentioned earlier.
Weight loss is one of your areas of expertise. What are your three best tips on weight loss?
When I have started my journey as a wellness coach, I thought like many others that 'let's fix nutrition and exercise', but it is far from it - you actually need to create a holistic approach to weight loss to achieve sustainable long term success (by the way its no different from building a business)
1. Understand what is not working: People tentatively think that if they want to lose weight, they can do it by start exercising. Although exercise is very important for a healthy lifestyle and weight loss, it is not the main factor. People need to look at the whole picture: their physical activity, their diet, their environment, their stress, sleep, hydration, and identify sabotaging patterns.
2. Its a game of numbers: The weight loss formula is pretty simple, and it has never changed no matter how people tried to complicate if. It is still calories in, calories out (though compared to business, you actually want more out then in). So you have to get clear on what your daily intake is and your daily expenditure first and start working from there. If you don't know the numbers, you are just playing a guessing game, and it is not the best strategy for success.
3. If you go to the extreme - you have to be ready for it. Both health and business are a marathon, not a sprint. If you make drastic changes (like crash diets or some type or restricted diets ), first you need to know what are the side effects, understand the challenges, and be willing to deal with them. Although we hear people who have achieved success on different diets ( see point 2 ), Most of the time, people can't sustain it because they are missing the part of self-discipline and healthy habit creation, leading to a drastic weight loss following by a rapid weight GAIN. With everyone I have achieved success with - I have worked on a balanced diet, continues followups, adjustments, controlled caloric deficit, and shifting the mindset around food and healthy choices - and it works 100%.
Positioning yourself in business is something you find very important. Do you have any specific tips on how to position yourself?
Before you position yourself, you have to get clear that you can 100% produce the results you promise (and if not, you will do whatever it take to do so). I see many people starting coaching business with no idea about coaching or without undergoing coaching themselves, so they claim they are a coach, yet they act more like advisors. When your purpose, skills, knowledge, and ability to produce results aligned, positioning yourself is simple: start doing what you do best and impact people's lives. Share your experience openly, be authentic with your audience and showcase your expertise. Like anything else - if you get good at what you do at some point, you will reach the 'tipping point 'where people will automatically find their way to you just because they know you are the best (or at least the best for them). For some people, it might take longer for some, it happens pretty quick. But as I said about diet - it is a marathon, not a sprint.
Finally, what do you have in front of you and what’s your next big goal or project?
Now my goal is to reach and help as many parents and families as I can to achieve fulfillment with finances, relationships, parenting and find happiness. 2020 is a tough year for many families and although it impacted their financial situation, many are still dominated by fear and their own limiting beliefs and accept their reality, be it earning less, working more, and living under constant pressure and stress. This can change very quickly, but they have to believe it first and want to go on the journey themselves