Developing Leadership: JJ Virgin’s Mindshare Summit

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in the Mindshare Summit, an annual meeting of health and wellness experts held in gorgeous Rancho Mirage, Calif. Nutrition and fitness expert J.J. Virgin founded the event to create a place for like-minded wellness practitioners and entrepreneurs to collaborate on how to make a difference by empowering wellness. What an exhilarating weekend it was!

J.J. believes that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and her conference definitely embodies this idea. During the Summit I met a fantastic group of thought leaders and wellness practitioners who truly believe that we can all unite and get the message out about making a huge impact and leaving this world a healthier, happier place.

Over three days of keynotes, roundtables and impromptu (but inspired) conversation, we shared tips and strategies, successes and failures—all with a common goal of bringing our customers the products, services and knowledge they need to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. I loved connecting with these committed, inspiring people one-on-one, and I want to share some of what I learned that weekend with the Sunlighten community.

Becoming a Wellness Leader

Here are my top 5 takeaways for developing leadership in the wellness space:

1. Know when to be an apprentice and when to be a mentor to others.

J.J. leads by example and surrounds herself with those who can help her grow personally and professionally, regardless of where they are in their wellness journey. I was struck by J.J.’s openness about her own vulnerabilities. I appreciated her sharing her path to success, which included seeking out mentors in spite of the perceived financial obstacle. She inspired me to continue on my search for my mentors without limits or perceived objections. I'm looking forward to growing my leadership skills from interacting with others who are as passionate about wellness as I am!

2. Connect with your customers on their needs.

The Summit helped validate the critical importance of consistently connecting with our customers and gaining a deeper understanding of their interests. It's important to ask why all your customers come to you and what their priorities are, and then look for areas where you can truly connect through shared experience or values. Focus on what they NEED vs. what you are offering. For instance, I love to connect with moms who want energy tips, patience tips and answers to nutrition questions, and who want to help their kids eat healthier and learn how to “get it all done.”   

3. Spread the word.

Those of you already familiar with Sunlighten know that we’re much more than just saunas. We want to bring our products to those who need them, to make a difference and leave the world a healthier place. I’ve seen the difference natural, noninvasive treatment made in my brother’s life, and I’ve experienced the preventive health benefits of regular sauna use in my own life. I get excited to share the benefits of our products because I know they can truly help people. I inspire you to also spread the word, to help us create a healthier, happier community of like-minded people!

4. Look for ways to add value.

As motivating as professional conferences can be, they’re also intense. So many good ideas, so little time. My advice is to add value to everyone you meet. Focus on them, not yourself. Who can you connect them to so they can grow their personal or professional goals? And ask them about their goals: What are they wanting to accomplish out of the conference? Would they like feedback on a new business idea?

5. Understand your core value and stay true to it.

Be clear on the WHY! Ask yourself, why do you want “X” or why do you do what you do? In Sunlighten’s case, we’re not just about selling saunas, even though that’s a lot of what we do every day. At our core, we want to help people and really make a difference in their individual lives. I feel a tremendous personal responsibility to help people understand exactly what they’re getting from our products in terms of both the technology and the benefits. If I can’t convey that and someone ends up with a product that doesn’t really meet their needs, I’m letting myself and that person down. And that’s just not acceptable.

Reflection and Renewal

As a mother, wife and business owner, I don’t always have time to reflect carefully on why I do what I do. The Mindshare Summit helped me get outside my normal routine and really pin down those values. With that knowledge, I’m better able to share Sunlighten’s message of changing the way the world thinks about health and wellness. I hope you’ll be able to apply some of these ideas to your own lives and businesses as well!

How do you connect with your customers to inspire a healthier world? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Sunlighten!

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