Do you have to have everything together and be completely ready in order to make 7-figures and have an enormous impact? Spoiler alert (and the great news): No. When you offer something to a specific group of people who are hungry for help, when you meet a need no one else is meeting, when you make a commitment to show up – no matter what – you can have an amazing business.

To talk about what this looks like and how it can come together, I’m excited to have Katrina Ubell, MD on this episode. We discuss several topics around building a thriving business, including identifying people’s needs, ROIs, working through perceived certainty (and uncertainty), and staying connected to our purpose. One point Katrina really is energetic about is finding your passion and staying committed to it.

“When I’m having intrusive thoughts about… ‘you should just get rid of this thing… go run away… you don’t have to do this’… But I really want to make an impact on this group of people. This group of people needs the information I have to share. And I just then start thinking how disappointing it would be to them. Someone had that answer and they just stopped or gave up… and what a shame, there’s all these people that aren’t going to be helped.” – Katrina Ubell, MD

What You’ll Learn

  • Making 7-figures starting at nothing
  • Designing your niche by identifying external needs
  • Choosing wise investments for your business
  • Perceived certainty (and uncertainty)
  • Staying connected to purpose
  • A peek into How to Lose Weight for the Last Time

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

Connect with Katrina Ubel, MD

Katrina in her own words…

As a pediatrician, I always struggled with my weight. For decades, I lost and gained the same 40 pounds. I tried every diet and program under the sun. Some worked for a while, but I’d always regain the weight.

In 2016, I finally figured out how to make weight loss permanent. I developed a program to help other busy physicians like me who often de-prioritize their own wellness.

As a weight loss coach, I’ve now helped over 1,300 busy physicians and professionals find and stay at a healthy weight and achieve the same peace and freedom around food.

Connect with Molly Claire

You can give Molly a special gift! It’s easy and FREE. Simply leave a review about her podcast on your platform of choice. It helps get the podcast out to more people, lets Molly know how The Masterful Coach is helping you, and makes a wonderful birthday present. Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | iHeart Radio | Amazon Music | RSS

Register for Molly’s webinar, 5 Secrets to Growing your Multiple 6 Figure Coaching Business:

Advanced Certification in Motherhood and Family Life Coaching (Advanced Parenting Coach Training): Join the Waitlist


Intro: Welcome to The Masterful Coach podcast with Molly Claire, where coaches learn skill mastery, business mastery, and life mastery at a whole new level. If you are serious about creating a meaningful coaching business that makes a difference, you are in the right place. And now your host, master life and business coach, Molly Claire.

Molly Claire: Hello, Coaches. I am thrilled to be bringing you today, Katrina Ubell, partly because she’s just an amazing human being, friend, colleague, and I just know you’re going to love her for all of those reasons. And also, because she has a new book that has just come out. And one of my favorite things about Katrina and about sharing her here with you is, we’re going to talk about what’s real in building a coaching business.

Katrina has created a lot of success, she founded Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, she has a seven-figure business, she just released this incredible book, so much external and internal success, right? That she has created. And Katrina is all about also giving sort of the full picture, the full view of the challenges behind the scenes as well. So, you’re going to love this episode and let’s dive in. Hello, Katrina!

Katrina Ubell: Hello Molly! I’m so glad to be here, thank you so much…

Molly Claire: Welcome.

Katrina Ubell: …For having me. Thank you.

Molly Claire: This is so fun because the last time we had an interview, you were interviewing me when my book came out and helping promote it and everything, which was awesome. So, we’ve had a lot of different relationships over the years.

Katrina Ubell: We have, we have. I mean, you were like day one, I remember back when I was doing coach training in person in El Dorado Hills, California, and there was a dinner the night before we started, and I remember talking to you. But the best part was that on the airplane on the way there, I was listening to some life coach school podcast and the interview you had, I didn’t even know you were going to be there, I just randomly listened to you…

Molly Claire: That’s right.

Katrina Ubell: …In your interview on the way there. And then, when I met you, I’m like, “Wait a minute, I recognize your voice, I think I just listened to you.”

Molly Claire: Oh my gosh.

Katrina Ubell: You’ve been there from like literally the very beginning.

Molly Claire: Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about that. So, I was there as one of the trainers and of course, and I worked up close and personal with you through your training.

Katrina Ubell: Yes, I can’t wait. I mean, like I said, I’m an open book, I just think that it’s important for people to know kind of more of the realities, so that they are not undervaluing their own successes or thinking about what they’re accomplishing isn’t enough.

Molly Claire: So, this is great. So, at times, I’ve felt like a mentor to Katrina in ways she’s been a mentor to me, which is just really fun to kind of have that back and forth, give and take, so…

The first question, Katrina—and by the way, I’ll just mention this now, I’ll tell you more at the end. But her book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, is out. It came out yesterday, the day before this podcast is airing.

So, make sure that you get your hands on that book, it is so good. We’re going to talk more about it and I’ll say more at the end, but that is her book. And Katrina, I would love for you to share your work in the life coach school world. You were, to my knowledge, the first coach to make a 100K in your first year, which was…

Katrina Ubell: Yeah apparently, that’s what I’m told.

Molly Claire: Which was so fun and so cool to be upfront and up-close and personal and see that. So, I would love for you to speak to how or why did you do that?

Katrina Ubell: So, I think it’s important to just note, because especially now sometimes there’s people who are coming through certification, who already have a following or already have whatever, you know, something. They already have an audience of some sort, let’s just say.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: And so, sometimes those people, right? Like right out of the gate, they’re doing this amazing stuff, making all this money and it’s easy to go like, “Oh well, it’s because they already had that, or they already had this one business and then they pivoted it or whatever thing.”

And I just want to say that I did not have any of that. I had no list, I had zero business experience. I always say that I was like, I knew negative amounts. I was like a vacuum, I knew absolutely not one thing about running a business, and even more so, I hadn’t really ever had a desire to have a business.

So, I wasn’t someone who always knew, “Someday, I want to be an entrepreneur.” And at that time, there really were not other coaching businesses hiring coaches to coach, if there had been, I’m guessing I probably would’ve just done that because I just didn’t have the, you know, it’s not even like I didn’t have the drive, I just didn’t have really the desire so much.

But at the time, it was kind of like, “Well, if you want to coach, then you need to have a business, you need to find clients to coach.”

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: And I was like, “Well, okay.”

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: And so, it was really at coach training that I was going like, “Well, who should I serve?” And I had lots of different ideas of different niches that I could choose.

And then in those days, it was like, I think we had six days of training and on that six day in the morning, we had to choose a niche and then we were told that we were not allowed to change it for at least a year. And so…

Molly Claire: No pressure or anything.

Katrina Ubell: Right. Ever the rule follower, A+ student, I’m like, “Okay. Well, I’m not allowed to change it, this is apparently, this is the word of God and I’m not allowed to push back.”

I’m laughing about it now, but I think it was really good advice, I mean, it really made me stick it out, when it would’ve been easy to go, “You know what? I’m just going to switch it and do something else.” And I totally could have done that, right?

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: But of course, I didn’t do that. So really, I think the way that happened, it certainly never set out with the intention or the goal to make a lot of money quickly. And I know it sounds a little crazy and I don’t want this to sound like, “Oh, poor me. I had all the success quickly,” but like, I also wasn’t ready for a lot of the challenges that come right away with growing a business that fast.

So, it was like I was on the fast track to learning entrepreneurship and how to run a business. It was in a lot of ways very scary, it felt at times out of control, the way it feels like to be on a rollercoaster, like the ups, the downs, the like this is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. That was really that experience.

But I think the reason it happened was kind of twofold in the sense that, yes, I kept showing up for the business, I kept showing up for the clients, I really listened. I mean, I had a deep understanding of what they were struggling with baseline anyway, but then as I coached more people, I learned so much about other struggles that they had, that were adjacent to mine, but that I personally hadn’t dealt with.

So, for instance, I was a total over eater, but I did not binge. And so, I had to learn so much as these clients come to me, they’re like, “I’m binging,” I’m like, “Okay. Well, let me learn a whole bunch more about that.” And so, it was really like a lot of—like, “Okay, let me figure out this, let me try this method of coaching,” and just continuing to show up.

I never made it mean like, “Oh, I shouldn’t be doing this,” or ‘I can’t do it.” And maybe that’s even just from medical training. Someone shows up, a patient shows up, you can’t just be like, “Oh, sorry, they didn’t teach this one to me,” you have to go find out what it is, you have to go research it or figure it out.

So, I think that was probably partly what happened. But the other thing is, I don’t want to say that like, “Oh, I was so smart and I chose this great niche,” a lot of people will say, “Well, it’s because of her niche.” But I do want to say that that niche, the reason it’s good, is because there, particularly then, was a group of people who were desperate for help and nobody was helping them. And I knew that because I’ve been one of them, I would have been desperate for help.

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: And there was nobody helping me. And so, I thought, well, maybe I could be that person that I had been searching for, maybe I could offer that help, there might be some people interested. I was never like a certain number of people or it’s going to translate into X amount of revenue or sales or anything like that, it was just like, I think there might be some people who are interested in this.

And I spoke to them, I offered them help, and they wanted that help. And so, it’s not so much just like, “Oh, well it’s because you serve doctors or because you, blah, blah, blah.” None of that matters, it’s that there was a group of people who shared a common struggle and they were not getting the help or at least the perception of them was that the help that was available wasn’t cutting it, you know? And so, I think when those two things come together, right? Like me deciding to show up no matter what, and them really hungry for help, that’s what resulted in that 100K that year.

Molly Claire: And I think too, as you were talking, I was thinking about many of my listeners who confused niche with the internal work that you’re doing. Meaning, right? Like niche is yes, what are the characteristics that these people have, but it’s also, what is it they need to hear? What is the message? Right?

Katrina Ubell: Right.

Molly Claire: And yours is pretty straightforward, but I was just thinking that, I think a lot of people get caught up in saying, “Well, I want my niche to be this.” For example, I want my niche to be self-love, which can be a good niche, but sometimes finding out what other external thing is there is a better niche, even though what you’re doing behind the scenes is self-love work, right?

Katrina Ubell: Exactly, 100%. So, the way I would think about that is, I would just ask the question, are people walking around going, “I need more self-love?” You know? Like, I knew they needed more self-love, but they were saying I need to lose weight.

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: And so, like in some ways I kind of think of it as the Trojan horse, right? They come to me for weight loss, I do help them lose weight, but in the process, I give them what they really need.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: Which is preparing their relationship with themselves, repairing their relationship with their body.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: And so, I’ve heard people say, “Well, you could expand, it could be wellness for physicians,” I’m like, “Yeah, but nobody walks around going, I need more wellness.”

Molly Claire: Yes, right, exactly.

Katrina Ubell: So, how are they going to know? There has to be some awareness of their problem, for them to be able to hear you or even go looking for you.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: And I think that’s an area where people get mixed, you know?

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: It’s like, you got to be real clear on like, they’re going around going, “Gosh, I wish there was somebody who could help me with this,” but what is that thing?

And I think some people get mixed up in thinking all the good niches are taken or something. In my mind, that’s so laughable because there are so many people in this world who do not know anything about coaching, they don’t know it’s available. And it would change their lives, and they are looking for a solution, they just haven’t heard of coaching yet.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: So, you know…

Molly Claire: Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: …If that’s the case, then there’s a lot of opportunities.

Molly Claire: Absolutely, absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: Which is really what this is all about. I mean, for me, it’s all about impact, I mean, the money is fun for sure, but it’s like when the days are hard, why do I keep doing this? Because I really do feel called to make a difference in this very narrow sliver of the population

Molly Claire: Yes, yes, yes. Oh, I love it, that’s so true. One thought that I had as you were talking about sort of this beginning phase that I remember about you is that, you did the certification, you did that intense stop overeating course, and I think you did something else as well.

And so, I want to highlight this because I saw Katrina diving in and getting—I would say, I don’t know, you tell me if you have a different perspective, but quite a bit of intense help, not that someone else was doing it for you, but like, you were in it, to win it. And…

Katrina Ubell: Well, you know what it was, is I invested in myself is really what I did, right?

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: I mean, and it was a lot of money, I mean, I’m not going to say it wasn’t, especially because at that point, I had stopped working as a pediatrician. So, it’s not like we couldn’t pay our mortgage, but I was used to bringing in…

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: …I mean, not jobs of money, pediatricians are woefully underpaid, but like…

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: …Until I was bringing money in. So, it felt like it would be easy to think about it, like it’s a drain on the family. But it’s like when you start seeing the results for yourself, for me, it’s easy for me to double down on that.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: Well, this has helped me so much, I wonder what more’s going to do, instead of well, I should be done now.

And so, it so much of that work I did myself, was really solving my own problem with food, so that I could really effectively help other people, and learning the skills on how to help with that too.

And then, also investing in business coaching. Like I remember finishing up kind of with what the life coach school offered and Marie Forleo was selling B-school, and I had heard about her from some of my colleagues and stuff. And I remember just being like, “You know, this seems this could be a good thing, it seems there’s more to running a business that I could learn about and this is outside of the coaching world, but I think this would be helpful.” I mean, I still, in my mind, if I don’t refer back to B-school stuff, I still think about things in ways that B-school taught me to think. And so, just to say, right? It has to be a thoughtful investment.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: I think I have always been very careful. I’ll remember thinking, “Okay, I need to start a podcast, I should start a podcast,” but knowing that I wasn’t going to do it myself, like I just knew—I was only working when my kids were in school, I was like.

So, I had this back and forth of like, I should start a pod… or I want to start a podcast, but I should do it myself and then doing nothing because I didn’t want to do it myself. And then I found out that there’s actually these companies who can help you to get your podcast up and running.

So, I’m so excited, then I go and find out how much it was. And the company that I worked with, it was $6,000 and I was like, “Oh my gosh.” I’m like, “I had made a couple dollars at this point, but like not enough to justify…”

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: $6,000 investment in this, and I was so excited. I remember, and my husband knew, I had been thinking about this and I come out and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, listen, and I found out that they can help you, and so amazing, but oh my God, listen how expensive it is.” And it was actually in December and he looked at me and he’s like, “Well, do you want a podcast for Christmas?” And I was like, “I think I do.”

It was like, I needed that permission where he’s like, “Yeah, we can invest in this.” And I mean, that was literally one of the very best investments I could ever make, that $6,000 for sure, massively contributed to me making a hundred….

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: Because it was a huge way that people found out about me, right? So [Inaudible 15:19] investment, not just buying all the things to buy all the things.

Molly Claire: Yes. And that’s why I want to highlight this because I know I see a lot of coaches sometimes going to either end of the spectrum, where they’re just spending money and spending more and more and buying this and that and ending up feeling like, “Why do I still not have the results that I want?” And they end—oftentimes, it’s kind of busies them, but it’s not actually the use of their money that will move them forward.

Katrina Ubell: A 100%. I’ve seen that so much, too.

Molly Claire: Hold on.

Katrina Ubell: But I just need to get this advanced certification, and then, I’m going to be able to serve people to the degree, or then I’m going to be able to charge what I want or whatever it is.

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: And they’re like, “Why don’t I have any money?” I’m like, “Well, your expenses are really high right now.”

Molly Claire: Yes, yes, yes. And then, I also see the other end of the spectrum where people are so afraid of spending the money, they’re like, “Well, I don’t want to go into debt,” and they get stuck in this, you know, do it yourself, which somethings you do yourself. But I just think there’s a lot of value in finding that space in the middle of these two ends, where you are willing to put your money, time and energy where your mouth is and everything you invest in, you make it work for you.

And I think that’s what I saw in you, you were like, “I am going to go for this, if there’s something I need to learn, that’s going to move me forward in my business, I will pay for it, I will put the time in.” And I would imagine that you’re very grateful to your past self for the effort you put in.

Katrina Ubell: I am very grateful to my past self for putting that effort in. And I mean, the decisions are going to be obviously individual…

Molly Claire: Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: …And stuff to what’s going to be right? But I always say I’m way more conservative financially in my business life than I am in my personal life, I’m very protective of the business and the financial health of it and stuff.

And so, I’m not someone just like spending willy-nilly, but I do know that if there’s an opportunity, like if this thing’s going to really help in these ways, then I’m going to do it and I’m also not going to blow it off, right? I’m going to go in there and like…

Molly Claire: Absolutely, yes.

Katrina Ubell: I always think of it as like ever since I did master coach training, I remember just always going into any program thinking it’s my responsibility to get out of this, what I need. Rather than, I’m just going to show up and see what happens here, instead going, “I’m here for these reasons, and I’m going to make sure that that has been accomplished by the time….”

Molly Claire: Yes. I always say, when you’re making a financial decision about your business, first you want to think, “Okay, what is the return on investment that I perceive?” And then when you make the decision to do it, you decide, “I will make this more than worth the return on investment,” right? “I will make it happen.”

So, I think that’s kind of, well just help with those financial business decisions.

Katrina Ubell: Definitely, definitely.

Molly Claire: So, here’s a question for you. I always say that the coaching world is like the wild wild west, there are no rules.

Katrina Ubell: Yep.

Molly Claire: Everyone just like making this up as they go, who knows what’s next? And I’ve always found it so fascinating in training coaches, when you’d have therapists come in, doctors, lawyers with just a very—Where there are so many rules and policies and regulations. And it’s like a culture shock. So, you coming from your medical background into this world, what was that like for you?

Katrina Ubell: I actually think that this world suits me better to be a 100% honest, and whereas I think it can go the other way. So, I think…

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: …I see people can really feel that resistance. So, I don’t want to say, “Oh, it’s not a thing,” because it totally is. But I for sure, especially in—I was in practice for 10 and half years as a pediatrician, and especially the later years.

I started to feel at times, a little, like “All these rules,” you know, and then this governing body and that governing body and they’re saying that you have to tell people that their kids have to eat or drink this thing. And when I personally disagree, there was in some ways a lack of flexibility perceived for me, you know?

Like for me personally, I like having fewer roles and having more freedom and more leeway. So, for me to a certain extent, it was a breath of fresh air to be able to just not have someone telling me it has to be this way. So, for me, I think that was helpful, but I do think that the one benefit—And I’ve actually spoken with a couple other people coming from a professional background, and then now doing coaching where they agree. And I actually have to say it was not even my idea initially, but I’m like, “Yeah, this is really true.” Is this idea that, I think some people are going into coaching going, “Well, now I’m certified. And so, this really successful business needs to just fall into my lap, where is it?”

They have this expectation for that, where those of us who come from this professional background—you don’t become a lawyer, get a law degree, and then you’re like, where are my clients? It’s like, you have to go create a niche for yourself. Who do you serve? You have to let those people know that you can serve them, you have to do a really good job so that they can refer their friends to you. You know, even as a doctor, I mean, sadly, I guess, but maybe not, right? You take really good care of people, they tell their friends, they should come bring their kids to you.

Molly Claire: Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: And of course, you want to take good care of people anyway, but you never are expect—like, where are all the patients? No, you need to fill up for reputation.

Molly Claire: Right.

Katrina Ubell: And you need to put effort and you have to go meet referring doctors and let them meet you and let them know how you can help their patients. And so, I think that I never thought like, “Oh, I’m just going to—this should just arrive,” No. you need to put in…

Molly Claire: Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: …Some leg work. And…

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: …So, it was not a surprise to me that you actually have to work at [Inaudible 21:20]

Molly Claire: Yeah. I love that you brought that up because, I mean, I’ve shared that example before specifically, because think about going into medical school, you’re planning to spend quite a bit of money to get into medical school.

Katrina Ubell: Oh, yeah.

Molly Claire: Or to go through medical school, and then.

Katrina Ubell: And then get paid nothing when you’re in your training

Molly Claire: Right. And then you’re in there and you’re like dirt poor, you have all these loans. And then, on top of that, if you’re going to buy a practice, right? There’s so much investment on the front end of that. And it’s so fascinating that we come in and whatever the coach training program is that you pay for, whether it’s 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, it’s like, “Oh gosh, that’s so much money,” right? It’s like the mindset, which is, I’m not trying to minimize that.

Katrina Ubell: Not that it’s not, but it’s relative.

Molly Claire: Exactly, it’s all relative. And then, if we expect to build a business, it’s going to be paying us back with passive income, even the way we think a business should serve us. I do think that it’s helpful to remember, if you want a business that’s going to give you back the time, freedom and finances you want, there is an investment of all of those things on the front end.

Katrina Ubell: Totally.

Molly Claire: Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: Absolutely. So, it’s like, I think one of the things that I’m guessing really slows a lot of people down, especially early on in their coaching careers, is this idea that like, it should be different than it is.

Molly Claire: I agree.

Katrina Ubell: You know, that somehow whatever is happening right now, isn’t right, and it should be different. I mean, it’s not, right? So, like, what are we going to do with what we’ve got? Based on this, what can we do moving forward?

Molly Claire: And I think, as you were saying that I was thinking that I would imagine part of the challenge for us is for example, taking the route of becoming a doctor and building a practice, there’s a perceived certainty in it, right?

Katrina Ubell: Yes.

Molly Claire: It’s kind of like, okay, this is like a well-known, trusted path.

Katrina Ubell: Exactly.

Molly Claire: And so, I wonder if it makes it easier to stay the course, whereas, as I said, wild, wild west, It’s like, I’m making this up as I go, and I think that that lends itself to that sense of potentially more uncertainty, right? And so, wanting to see the evidence or proof sooner, so that you can stay on the path knowing it will work.

Katrina Ubell: Right. It’s kind of like, you need more feedback, like I am doing the right thing or this is working. Whereas, if you’re in your medical practice, like if you just keep serving people well, and keep letting people know you exist, like…

Molly Claire: Yeah, that has been around for a while.

Katrina Ubell: There’s going to be people who have a medical need. I do agree with that, I think it’s easier to believe. It’s easier to believe this will work, this will pay off. And it’s easier to make that investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars, because you go, “Well, I know how this ends. I mean, provided I can get through and pass all the tests and everything. I have a pretty good idea of how this is going to work out in the end, and with entrepreneurship it’s less certain for sure.”

Molly Claire: And I think that’s where there’s so many things we can do, of course, in the work that we do and a lot of my listeners, you know, it’s; we really have to create certainty for ourselves all the time, right? Any kind of tangible ways we can find evidence for it, that’s certainty and belief in ourself. So, definitely.

Katrina Ubell: And I think that’s exactly what you just pointed on, is the most important thing. You’re not going to get the certainty from the business, you’re going to get the certainty from yourself. What I know to be true about me, no matter what, this is a true belief and identity that I have is that I will keep going, even if things aren’t working, when things don’t work. I want to say when things don’t work, as if sounds like, “Well, if something crazy happens,” you know. No! things don’t work for me too, for sure at times, right? And it’s like, you just keep going, keep going, keep going.

Molly Claire: Totally.

Katrina Ubell: And I think that’s where it is important, at least for me. Again, like I said, when things are hard, when I’m having intrusive thoughts about… you should just get rid of this thing and go run away, you don’t have to do this. It’s like, “Yeah, but I really want to make an impact on this group of people.”

This group of people needs the information that I have to share. And I just then start thinking about how disappointing it would be to them, like someone had that answer and then they just stopped or gave up or didn’t want to keep going, and what a shame. Like, there’s all these people aren’t going to be helping them, like, “All right, fine. Keep going.”

Molly Claire: It’s true, we really do have to reconnect with our purpose and the people we want to serve often, yes. Okay. So, I want to talk about your book in a minute, but one last question I have for you because you… so you made a 100K in your first year?

Katrina Ubell: Yes.

Molly Claire: You scaled your business pretty quickly?

Katrina Ubell: Yes.

Molly Claire: And I bet you were taking home tons of money during that time, right? Right? Katrina, tell us all about it, behind the scenes.

Katrina Ubell: No, I mean, I was making multiple 100K, and I mean, for a long while not taking any salary, you know? I first paid back our personal financial investment like that we put into the trainings and stuff and the initial things, which I think I want to say, it was in the 40 thousands. When it was all said and done, I was like maybe 42 or 43, something like that.

So, that was my first thing that I wanted to do, and then after that, I really just was like, you know, again, because my husband was able to make enough money to support the family, it was like, “Okay, well then, I don’t need this money, I would rather invest in this next thing and this next thing, this next thing, that’s going to help move the business forward.”

And so then, it got to the point though, where from a tax standpoint, I had to pay myself like a reasonable salary, but then I did that for a long time and I still didn’t take out any distributions, I wasn’t taking out any of that profit, I wasn’t really taking it. It was a few years before I was finally like, “You know what? there’s a lot of cash here, you could take some of it.”

And that was very fun, you know, to be like, “Oh my kid’s school tuition is due,” like, “Oh, fun,” I just pulled that right out, and poof, all paid for, you know 100%. How fun is that?

I just think again, that’s like where that purpose and impact is so important because if you’re like “I’m in this to make a gazillion dollars because I want to fly private and buy all the expensive handbags or whatever.” Amazing, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t judge that at all.

It’s just that it can be harder than to keep yourself going and to say, I mean, and just to say, like, I’m not purchasing, I’m not flying private and I never have been on a private jet in my life and even now, and I don’t buy all that expensive stuff.

I mean, it’s a personal choice, but it’s just like, what are you doing this for? Is this for the long game? Because you really want to build it to a point where you can really help serve people. That’s different than, “Yeah, I want to help people, but I also want to make a lot of money.”

And I don’t want to say that’s bad, it’s not bad. People having lots of money is amazing, I love that. But it might be one of those things where you just have to, or that may not even have to. Like the most judicious decision or the most wise decision would be to delay that gratification a bit longer and actually invest in, you know.

Or, I mean, the other thing is, building up an emergency fund in your business. Which right now as we’re possibly heading into recession, like nobody really knows what’s happening at the economy, everybody’s talking about you need to have at least several months of operating expenses in cash. Especially if you pay other people to help you. So, it’s like, those are the things where it’s like to be a responsible business owner, you want to make sure you have all those things handled.

And then, have I taken my family on some amazing vacations? Absolutely, and I haven’t regretted one second of it, and it’s so amazing and so fun like, “Ugh, this is what I’ve gotten to do.”

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: But it really took some time together. Like I said, I’m quite physically conservative in the business because I never want to get to a point where I can’t pay payroll or things like that.

Molly Claire: Right, right…

Katrina Ubell: Like, that’s just.

Molly Claire: …Right.

Katrina Ubell: I went to a conference several years ago, business conference, this is like before COVID, and one speaker was like, “As a business owner, you eat last.” And it’s like, you know, not to the point to your own detriment, but also like you have to make sure that all these other things are stable and then.

Molly Claire: And I just want to take a minute and say to you, all of you coaches listening, because I know kind of going back to what Katrina mentioned actually, where if there had been the opportunity to be a coach in someone’s business, you probably would because you didn’t really have that desire, and I know now you do.

And I would say it’s changed quite a bit for me as well, I really love the business piece of it and I started out really loving just the coaching piece. But I just want to say to all of you, if any of you are discouraged and thinking, “Okay, well, forget it because that sounds like a lot of work and I don’t want to do that.”

Remember that everyone’s going to have their own version of coaching business that works for them. And so, if you’re really wanting a smaller coaching business, don’t minimize or discount that, smaller doesn’t mean less than right? It’s like, how do you want to have this impact?

And so, some of you will want to have a very strong referral-based business, and some of you will want to have a multiple million-dollar business, that is a little more, what’s the word? Complicated behind the scenes and such, right? And many of you will want to find someplace in the middle. So, this is just a really good insight into what it’s like building a bigger business.

Katrina Ubell: I just want to reiterate what you’re saying. I think it’s so easy to think like, “Oh, but once you make the seven figures, then you got it made or it is so much better, or at least you’re making all this money.”

And I’m telling you, it is just hard in different ways. And I’m not going to say it’s worse, I’m not going to say it’s better, It’s just hard in different ways. Like right now in our business, we’re going through some stuff too. And a lot of adjustments and it’s a lot more like people managing and things like that. But I’m coming again with like zero skills on, and/or like, not feeling very strong in my skill set on that.

And it’s constant, constant growth, which doesn’t usually feel good. So, I just think that somehow, we’re like deep down we’re like, “But I really do think it’s better!” And I’m like, “Reverend father, I know, because I think I agreed with you.” But there’s times where I’m like, “Gosh, it’s so nice to have, you know?”

I’m still like a business that’s working and you’re getting a steady stream of clients and that’s all great, and you’re making good money and it’s simpler. You know, I think there’s something to be said for that. There’s just pros and cons to all of it, is what I will say.

Molly Claire: Right, absolutely. It’s just a choice, it’s really just a choice of which kind of hard you want.

Katrina Ubell: And not thinking that what your choice is, is the lesser choice or…

Molly Claire: Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: …Somehow, you’re not cut out for something else or whatever.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: Like, no, you can do whatever you want, but what do you actually want?

Molly Claire: Yes, yes.

Katrina Ubell: I feel it too certain; I mean, I don’t want to make it sound like I’m like, this happened to me, but it also kind of feels like it happened to me. You know, like I said, it all grew so fast and there really wasn’t a lot of time to sit around and think, and what do I really want? And it was like, there’s this demand, and how can we meet this demand?” And then all of a sudden, you’re like, “Whoa, look what we have here,” And sometimes, building things quickly, then they need to be rebuilt. You know what I mean?

Because it’s the foundation, maybe isn’t quite there and finding the proper leaders in a business and stuff. I mean, it’s all just part of that process. So, I just really, really—it breaks my heart when I hear about coaches who have a great thing going, but then they still think it’s not good enough.

Molly Claire: Yes, yes.

Katrina Ubell: No, stop that, please.

Molly Claire: I think I’ll just kind of add to that by saying, I think that some coaches are possibly making more money than another, but they’re actually maybe not in line in their life and business, meaning they’ve been trying to create something that’s really someone else’s dream, right?

And other people, it’s the opposite too, where they are potentially—I think it goes both ways because I love that you said, “Just because you choose a business where it’s maybe not as big, doesn’t mean it’s a lesser option.” I think sometimes it can be the lesser option, but only if you’re playing small for yourself, right?

Katrina Ubell: Exactly, right.

Molly Claire: So, that’s where I think all of you listening, that’s where it’s important to really figure out who are you? What business do you want? And whatever that is, as long as you honor that, that is really the best way to show up in your business, no matter what the income level or size.

Katrina Ubell: And when a challenge or you’re confronted with a challenge, you know? Are you willing to say yes to it? I mean, you and I have talked offline about this, like this book coming out has really, really challenged me in terms of exposure and visibility. And a lot, a lot of fear coming up and trying to get to the bottom of that.

I mean, what I am having to do is to grow as a person to not be completely like, folded up in the corner, you know, a ball of anxiety. I mean, it’s a lot. And so, it’s easy to go, like, “Oh, I wish, you know, why did I even do this?” But again, like I said, I’m like, “But people need this, they need [Inaudible 35:35]. So, okay, if that’s the case, fine.” And I will do this.

Molly Claire: I’ll do it. And speaking of the book is so good, I have it here in my hands. I got this lovely hard copy before the book was even out, and I feel like it’s a very easy read.

Katrina Ubell: Thank you, I think so too honestly…

Molly Claire: Absolutely.

Katrina Ubell: …And I wanted it to be that way.

Molly Claire: It’s so nice, it’s practical and simple and yet, so smart, you know? And it’s not surface level, but it’s also not so overwhelmingly technical or scientific that I need someone to interpret it, so…

Katrina Ubell: Thank you. That’s a huge compliment, that’s exactly what I was going for.

Molly Claire: It’s so good. So, tell us, and I know we don’t have much time left. How much time do I have left with you? How much longer can I keep you?

Katrina Ubell: Oh, I’ve got a few more minutes.

Molly Claire: Okay. So, tell me what made you decide to write the book first of all?

Katrina Ubell: So, my podcast is, Weight Loss for Busy Physicians. I’ve obviously been really targeting women physicians in clinical practice. So, we’re like practicing as doctors, you know, want to lose weight for years now. I think I’m in my sixth year doing this.

And over the years, what I had found is that a lot of doctors were actually referring their patients to my podcast. So, when I would look at my podcast reviews, people would say, “Well, I’m not a doctor, but my doctor told me to listen to this and it’s changed my life and I’ve lost all this weight and whatever.” Or people were like, “Oh, I’m searching for weight loss podcasts and I saw this and I thought, oh, what’s different for doctors, I want to know too.”

I’m not a doctor, but this totally applies to my life, too. And so, it was kind of interesting, right? But I don’t offer anything for those people, just the podcast. And of course, they’d been asking, and so, I really—again, I’m not someone who’s like, “I always knew I was going to be a published author, it is always a dream of mine.” No, I resisted it for a long time, but I really did think the book could work for… it could be helpful for a number of reasons.

First of all, it gives people who have been dedicated listeners, who’ve really wanted more help from me, it gives them something. It gives people a lower priced option to get started, to get some good help, introduces the concepts, it gives doctors something to recommend to their patients that isn’t a podcast that has almost 300 episodes, can you imagine? The doctors are like, I have this great podcast…

Molly Claire: A little overwhelming,

Katrina Ubell: …You need to spend the next several months of your life listening to figure out what to do, you know, it’s a bit overwhelming.

Molly Claire: Right?

Katrina Ubell: So, it gives them something that—because doctors really, they want to help their patients and they don’t know what to say, they don’t understand it either and they don’t have time to get into it, even if they do understand it. So, it helps doctors be able to give their patients better advice on solving their weight issues. And then also, and of course, that for the people who are that narrow sliver that I serve, it gives them a better idea of what I’m all about as well. And, I know for myself, I’ve read books where I’m like, “This is exactly what I need and I know I’m never going to do it myself.”

So, then I’m like, “How can I work with this person?” And so, I think, it has multiple purposes in that sense. And so, when I thought about it that way, I’m like, “Yeah, it really does, it does make sense.” It’s nice to put it out there like, “This is a real thing, coaching is real.”

And I mean, we’ve done studies on our clients and we know that this really, really works. It works almost as well as diet and lifestyle changes, plus the most popular injectable weight loss medication, which is very expensive, you have to take for the rest of your life and has significant side effects like nausea.

So, it’s like, you don’t have to be nauseous, you could just work on your brain and you can lose almost as much weight or in the same time period. So, I also was like, it just legitimizes it. I thought there’s going to be a lot of these people who will want coaching help and how great will it be to help all these other coaches, these other weight loss coaches, who are going to be able to serve all these people, who will be able to be introduced to coaching through this book.

Molly Claire: And I love that because it’s so clear as you’re talking, that it is really about the impact that you want to make with this book because writing and releasing a book is not easy.

Katrina Ubell: Nope.

Molly Claire: Right?

Katrina Ubell: I mean, it really has been—we’re coming up at almost three years since I very, like, when I first started working on it. So, it’s a long, long process, you know?

Molly Claire: I remember talking to you about it in The Caymans. We were eating at that little taco restaurant on the beach and talking about it.

Katrina Ubell: Yeah. I mean, back then I was trying to reach out to agents on my own then, you know that was very early days, very early days, and so much has happened. And that whole process is a whole growth opportunity in and of itself, and I decided to go the traditional route, so I have to get an agent and then finding a publisher and all of a sudden. And I don’t regret that, I think that was the right thing for this book, but it’s a lot.

Molly Claire: Yeah, it is a lot. But you’ve done it and clearly because of the impact, you believe it will make—what would you say? If you could just say what your greatest hope would be that people could get out of this book?

Katrina Ubell: What would it be? My gosh. My greatest hope would be that someone reading this, recognizes that their overeating struggle or their weight struggle is not really about the food. It’s not constantly trying this diet and that diet and eliminating this food group and that macronutrient and focusing so much on the food is the wrong place to be focusing.

Yes, you have to think about it a little bit, but the real solution is in our brains and our minds.

Molly Claire: Yeah, I love it. And I love in the book, you talk about a lot of practical things. Like, you said, statistics, you talk about thoughts, you talk about emotions, it’s really just so comprehensive and so good, so…

Katrina Ubell: And you know, I just have to say, as a coach, I really at times was like, “Ah, I just want to talk about the emotional piece and all that stuff, I don’t really want to tell them about, what to eat or how to figure out how to eat for themselves and things like that.

And then, it was like a lot of conflict I felt internally about it. And then, the publisher was like, “But you have to understand if people are buying a book to lose weight, they’re going to expect this, they’re… In order for them to even hear the stuff you’re talking about with the emotional stuff, you have to give them these other things too.” And I was like, “Okay, fine. I guess you’re right.”

Molly Claire: It’s like what we were talking about in the beginning with niche, right? You’re like, “Oh, well I just want to talk about what really is happening.”

Katrina Ubell: But it’s like, you got to meet people where they’re at.

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: Meet them where they’re expecting that, they want that. And then you hope that they keep reading and go, “Oh, oh, wow! Okay, yeah.”

Molly Claire: Yes.

Katrina Ubell: That’s what I need to do.

Molly Claire: Yes. Well, it’s so good, you guys have to buy it. Katrina, this has been awesome, so great to hear your real experience, building a business for people to get to know you, and all of you need to go buy Katrina’s book because it’s so good, I love it, you’re going to love it. I think it’s just; anyone should read this book.

Katrina Ubell: Thank you. I have had people tell me who do not struggle with their weight, who’ve read it. They’re like, I really learned a lot.

Molly Claire: Is that actually…

Katrina Ubell: They found it very helpful.

Molly Claire: That’s what I’m saying. I think it’s very helpful just from the standpoint of understanding our bodies, understanding our connection with ourself and emotions and everything. So, yeah. Okay. So, tell everyone where they can find it.

Katrina Ubell: Yes. So, it’s available anywhere books are sold. So, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, any independent bookseller. If you have a favorite independent bookseller, you can get it from them as well. And then, I also narrated the audiobook and that’s available on Audible. And there’s actually for, you know, if people are podcast listeners, a lot of people like buying audiobooks. And the audiobook has a little bonus interview with me on it as well.

Molly Claire: Oh, awesome.

Katrina Ubell: Little bonus material on the audiobook.

Molly Claire: Awesome, I love it. So, this information is in the show notes and the book again is How to Lose Weight for The Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, by Katrina Ubell, MD. So…

Katrina Ubell: It’s crazy.

Molly Claire: It’s crazy.

Katrina Ubell: It’s great, what’s happening?

Molly Claire: So exciting, I love it. Well, thank you so much for sharing this. I promise you, I guarantee that my listeners got so much out of it, so I really appreciate your time,

Katrina Ubell: Molly, thank you so much. It was so, so fun.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the masterful coach podcast. If you’re ready for complete support as you build your coaching business, check out Molly’s collaborative community, The Masterful Coach Collective. It’s a place where you’ll have access to the best experts in the biz, community support and guidance as you build your perfect business 90 days at a time. Visit for details.