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Conversations with the Inspiring Gail Turner-Cooper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gail Turner-Cooper.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I spent 20 years of my life working my fingers to the bone growing a marketing company from a start-up to a national organization with 7 locations across the Southeast. After years working 60/70 hours a week and prioritizing my career over my family, over my health, over my general sense of wellbeing; I needed to make a major change in my life. I started a daily meditation practice. It changed my outlook, giving me the mind space to pursue a different life goal. Two forces fuel my drive. My daughter is high functioning Asperger’s. We discovered that she thrives on a very specific diet. We have taken a deep dive into the world of special needs nutrition and lifestyle. The second is my own journey. I was a kid, like many, that grew up drinking Diet Pepsi and eating pop tarts. I suffered from horrible digestion issues and sought many doctors’ advice. None of their solutions worked. I started experimenting with a variety of diets. I settled on one that works with my individual needs. My digestion issues are resolved. I decided to expand on what I learned and make a career out of what I had personally discovered. I am a certified Health Coach which is the backbone of Align Health Coaching. What started for me as an interest in wellness quickly turned into a passion for helping others. In my previous career, I was the go-to person with questions centering around health. My passion project developed into a side hustle while I was working as an Executive Vice President. I soon realized that I preferred helping others transform into their best selves. After much discussion with loved ones, I decided to make the leap, pursuing Align Health Coaching full time. I love helping people. I love seeing them live their most joy-filled life.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey was not what I expected when I launched my business. I knew that leaving a 20+ year career and starting my own gig would be challenging. But, what I did not account for was the mental and emotional shift that needed to take place. I did not have a constant stream of people knocking on my door asking for corporate-minded help. I was the central hub for much of the activity at work, and now I am entirely reliant on my own motivation. In addition, I gave up a stable career with a great salary. I struggled with self-imposed family guilt wanting to pursue my passion project and changing from being the breadwinner to a person with a new currency – happiness.

In the beginning, developing my image, brand, website and other necessities took time away from my passion for helping people. These are key to building your company, I would recommend hiring professionals to help you. I struggled with understanding how long each would take. Building a website, for example, takes longer than a few weeks to go live. Also, I realized that you don’t have to be perfect to launch. Get yourself out there and start doing your craft.

What should we know about Align Health Coaching? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Align Health Coaching offers custom-tailored wellness plans for individuals, groups, and families. I cater to busy working professionals that want to feel good again and find their stride. I also work with parents of children with special needs to find a lifestyle that works for them. I meet people where they are and help guide, empower and support them to a happier, healthier life. The plans I create are simple to follow, but not easy- people need support and accountability. The plans include sustainable habits relating to nutrition, meditation, fitness, and lifestyle. I don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. I do believe that transformation starts from the inside out. It occurs when you develop a new you. I help people develop good eating habits and adopt them as their new normal. I help them develop good self-care practices and make it a priority. I help them develop morning and evening routines that they cherish. During a session, I teach people healthy alternatives to their existing life choices. We may review topics like meal planning, nutrition for hormone health, cooking strategies, and how to sustain their new lifestyle. We develop meditation practices that fit their goals. Also, with my background in running a large business, I help clients with their personal budgets and organizational needs. I serve as a guide, mentor and accountability partner allowing my clients to know that they are not alone in their journey.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I am involved with a couple of mastermind groups. I tried a few and settled on ones that I feel are mutually beneficial. I am also involved with a few networking groups. This took a bit longer to flush out as there are many types available. Key factors to take into account when selecting one that is right for you, are time demands, costs, type of attendees and what groups the parent networking company supports. I opted for networking groups that meet monthly and not demand weekly attendance. I also prefer groups that have a diverse mix of attendees. In general, I try to say yes to any real opportunity, even if it is just to try it out once. I find that simply putting myself out there generates good energy for networking.

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