Learning To Pivot When Troubles Hit

In today’s business podcast, we hear from Patricia Daiker who shares her story with Type One diabetes and how it has shaped her own business and changed lives that struggle with the same disease. Let’s jump right in!


Here are some things we cover in today’s Podcast:

  • How being an entrepreneur is like being a triage nurse.
  • Understand the power of pivot as you build and grow your business.
  • How do you start a business when there’s no one in your niche?
  • How little incremental changes can make a big change in your business.

Thanks for listening to the OP Podcast. 


Make sure you check out Patricia’s contact information below

Board Certified Nurse Coach Specializing in Diabetes Burnout. Author of online wellness program “Better Diabetes Life”  She’s the mom of teenagers and still has learned to build a business and help others.  She coaches individuals and has an online self-paced course that helps people explore their personal motivation, emotional awareness, communication skills, basic diabetes understanding and most importantly self care.

Bonus Business Training Videos

Check out the bonus videos and training from this episode.

Bonus: 10 Question Quiz to find out if you are dealing with diabetes burnout

Read This Podcast Episode’s Transcript Below

Optimize Profitability Podcast Transcript: Episode 3

Learn How To Pivot When Troubles Hit


Lyle: Hello, this is Lyle with the Optimize Profitability podcast today I’m here with Patricia Daiker. She’s an exciting woman. She’s a diabetes coach, and she provides e-course for at home support for holistic needs of living with chronic illness.

Not only is she an entrepreneur, but she’s dealing with health issues and she’s a mom of teenagers. So she’s got lots on her plate. And I’m excited to have you with us. Thank you for spending time with us being here. I really appreciate your time. So with that being said, I’m going to turn it over to you. 

Patricia: Well, thank you and thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here and actually especially excited because this morning my Internet went out. So, yeah, it’s working. Yes. 

So let me tell you a little bit about my business. Is that our first question? 

Lyle: OK, so how did you get started in business and what’s a tough situation you’ve overcome in your life that’s helped you be stronger as an entrepreneur? 

Patricia: Absolutely. I’ll tell you a little bit of my backstory. This is my third career, so my first career was a nurse and I still am a registered nurse. My background was in the emergency department here in Dallas at Baylor University Medical Center. 

And then for almost 17 years, I was in healthcare I.T. as an executive in software. And then three years ago, I started my own business, kind of a passion business. I developed Type One diabetes when I was twenty six years old, working in the E.R. We think, and you never really know, but we think I got a virus from a patient, which was the trigger. Type one is the type where it’s an autoimmune. I don’t make insulin at all and I will require insulin for the rest of my life. 

I’ll tell you kind of how I got here in a few steps. One, you would think that I was a nurse and I knew all about diabetes, and I could do all of it perfectly, but I did know’ the how.’  I struggled. I didn’t want it. I am supposed to be the health care provider. I was not supposed to be that other person. And I really struggled for a long time. 

Even though I had the education, that was not enough. Then I kind of jumped into healthcare IT. I started just as a subject matter expert, but quickly rose through the ranks and kind of climbed up corporate America’s ladder.  I learned a lot about change management strategies, interpersonal communication, and why people make decisions, like in a sales cycle. Those strategies were very relevant to how you live your life with diabetes. 

Fast forward all the way to now. That’s what my business is about, because what I’ve learned is there’s not a person on the planet today that doesn’t know we should eat right, exercise, eat healthy, and drink more water. 

Just because your pancreas fails doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you can do that better than anyone else. So although education is a huge part of it, it’s only part. And this holistic approach is about your mind, your body, your willingness, how you see yourself, what you’re willing to do, and what you’re not willing to do. 

I work with people on burnout, which is pretty much where you get to when you have a lifelong chronic illness. There’s going to be a day where you’re done with it. And I want to do this anymore. I’m tired of it. I want to be normal. And that’s normal to get there. And some people stay there longer than others. 

Lyle: Is burnout a term that they use in general, like with somebody who has that? Do they understand that term or is that something that is kind of a clinical ‘insiders term?’ 

Patricia: No, it’s not clinical at all. It’s what people say that I don’t want to do this anymore, so I hate it. So you can imagine you get burned out on a job you don’t like, even with a spouse or coworker, right? Burnout is really about how the person feels. Clinically what you hear this word is they’re ‘noncompliant’. Oh, they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Well, that word noncompliant comes off very judge-y like there’s some sort of expectation that you should be able to do something. 

You may not have the coping skills or just the emotional awareness to work through it. And it’s never about being bad, although that’s how people get labeled. I certainly have been labeled that way when you don’t meet the mark and it’s just impossible to be perfect for the rest of your life.

The interesting thing about what’s helped me in my career is A, having both perspectives.  I understood the problem for more than just one angle, which was really, really key. A then B, in my nursing world, we did a lot of triage. I’m going to jump into this entrepreneurial world now. 

Some triage is all about whatever comes your way, you reassess and you respond. When I was working in the emergency department, it wasn’t first come, first serve. People come in and you’re constantly assessing how people are doing, who needs what next. In software development, we did the same thing so we might decide we’re going to build a certain feature. 

But then the market changed, something didn’t work. We discovered something new and we’re like, we need to switch. 

Those skills have been critical for what I do now, creating my own business and bringing pretty new services to the marketplace. This isn’t like something that’s already out there. I’m copying somebody else’s platform, if you will. And covid, what is happening right now, is a perfect example. Last year in 2019, I spent most of the year in the studio developing online e-courses to help people with these skills and insights into burnout. Because for me personally, I had to get pretty bad before I really sought help. 

I wanted something that people could do at home privately without having to go tell somebody they were struggling. It was an awareness that you can do everything that I teach, and everything that I coach on really isn’t insider, hidden knowledge, it’s personalizing it for you. I spent a year creating this curriculum so people could have it. Then we went to the market and several areas we had ads, had people, I had SEO, we had the website, where everything was ready to go. 

We launched our ads and two weeks later. So talk about triage. Right. We had to go, OK, that’s not going to work. That messaging isn’t going to resonate. And so what we had to do is rethink our strategy. We had the key word right now, pivot.

And when we pivoted, the things I had to think of are: 

  • What do people need? 
  • How can I serve? 

And interestingly enough, we’re all in isolation and stuck at home. This course was already on the shelf, ready to go. People with diabetes are at high risk. And as such, one of their best opportunities for health is to be healthier, keep their blood sugars in better control. But at the same time, we’re at home more, binge eating stuff, or watching on TV. 

We’re not exercising or drinking alcohol. You know, you look at all the risks, everything that you shouldn’t be doing, are doing. 

And so at a time when you need to be more in control or more vigilant, it’s harder. And so those are the people I wanted to reach out to. So we pivoted all of our messaging towards that group of individuals. 

Lyle: Let me ask you real quick, you are talking about triage. Triage is a response rather than a reaction. And so how did you differentiate that, like when you came to this situation, you had to change your entire plan and your focus was on the audience. What chose you to focus on the audience over focusing on your product? 

Patricia:That nursing background in me, and to some extent, triage is a French word, meaning to sort. And you look at the landscape, and even my nursing career, you always had to look at what you had. 

There were no meetings. You can’t go have a rally and decide what you’re going to do in two weeks. You had to understand the lay of the land and what made sense in this moment for right now. Some of that’s innate in the way I think perhaps. But I was always going back to what I wanted. If I’m the person who’s struggling, and I did struggle, I don’t want to get off on my story too much, but I had trouble getting insulin. 

There have been issues. It hasn’t been easy. What I didn’t want was someone telling me. I should be doing something better. I wanted someone who understood my struggle and could help me out of it. Iit was, again, trying to get inside the head of your customer. And to some extent, I am my customer. 

But really, what do they need and not trying to serve the world, but to serve these small portions of people that could really benefit from what I do. It’s about who benefits and what’s the service you offer.

Lyle: And you really niche down because of your situation in your life. Do you think that’s helped you in your business and how you’re doing it? 

Patricia: I was looking at Google Analytics and Facebook analytics and really trying to understand who are these people who are the ones that I’m going to connect with the most. And it’s I think from an entrepreneur standpoint, it never stops. That’s probably the best lesson I can give to someone today. 

Just because you think you figured it out, don’t rest on those laurels. Keep looking because it’s going to shift and change. The world is not static. To throw a little nursing metaphor. If you look at wave lines on this monitor, if you see the place is always up and down and if life is flat, if that line of work goes flat, that’s a bad thing. 

Lyle: We call that a plateau In business, and that’s when things get boring. 

Patricia: Nothing happens. And so you expect it and anticipate that and just be willing to change as you need to change. 

Lyle: Absolutely. And what’s one thing you’ve done this year that you feel like made you more of a winner in your business? 

Patricia: Let’s see. I’ve done a couple of things besides the pivot I’ve had to figure out what opportunities I have. So more webinars, so people are at home, they’re stuck, they can’t go anywhere. Things popping up are probably not going to work right. More of an online presence and actually started to really work with other influencers. So I’m co marketing now with them. His name is Don Muchow and he is a type one diabetic ultra marathoner running from Disney to Disney.  He started in February and he runs like 20 to 40 miles a day, something crazy like that.

 

But he and I really aligned on what it takes to overcome burnout, what it looks like, why we have it, and that it’s not just as easy as what they say. There’s a lot of inner work you have to do to kind of get yourself to do this hard work. And so finding other influencers that I could collaborate with, that could help. I could help them, and they could help me. 

I think the other thing is to narrow the focus. I try to be really good at something for a very specific set of people versus everything for everybody.

Lyle: Yeah, a lot of businesses, you know, everybody wants what I have when you lose the whole opportunity there. You niche market to people with diabetes, do you focus on age groups? You have different booklets for different age groups or different programs for different age groups?

Patricia: Yeah. And so, again, the analytics are looking at Google Analytics, looking at my Facebook ads. Most of my customers are probably over forty five to sixty five and more women than men. So just looking at that dynamic of who’s responding to the ads, who’s clicking, who’s buying, who’s interacting. Then if you’re going to spend your marketing dollars, let’s just focus on these people. Not to say other people wouldn’t benefit. My services are available to anyone. 

But you’re going to try to get you to the people that need to hear it the most and that are going to be most receptive to what you offer. 

Lyle: Exactly. So somebody who doesn’t know Google Analytics doesn’t know how it works, can you explain to them, just not in a big technical foundation. But how did you use that little bit of information you get on Facebook, whatever? How do you use analytics to define how you communicate on your website and with your courses? 

I don’t know if I can answer that in twenty minutes, but I’ll try. First of all, it’s so much it’s on their side, and I have a team and I’m learning myself. I’m kind of a numbers geek anyway, so I like to help with easy stuff like who’s clicking on your site, how long are they staying there. Are they women, what’s their age group? 

Which things they’re clicking on? So not only do I have all my social media, I have newsletters. And within that you can see what’s next? People’s interest. What are they clicking on? What’s getting the most response? And then you have to kind of get inside the mind of them. Why were they interested in that? What value did that bring? Just looking at timing, you can also see what time people are on your site, especially with social media. So that can help you choose when you want to publish something or go live.

The other one thing I think is, I would have not thought that people would still be on mobile devices as much as they are, but they are like, I barely do anything now for desktop or, you know, it’s a small percentage that are on their desktop, although I’m on my laptop all day, but really maximizing for mobile use.

Lyle: And do you get much into the psychographic things? How do you differentiate yourself from somebody else who’s talking about diabetes or even actors or those kinds of things?

Patricia: So nobody’s talking about burnout. So if you think of diabetes and the stress level… And everyone’s talking about diet and exercise and what to do. We all know we’re supposed to exercise, to drink water, or to eat low carb. That’s not the problem, it’s why don’t we? And so trying to not really compete with them, because what they do is necessary and good. I just want to offer this different thing, and that’s where I get people going. 

I’ve never even heard anybody talk about this. I’ve felt like I was doing a bad job and I was a bad person. And really, the truth is you may just not have the coping skills you need, or you may need a new perspective, or you may need to figure out how to tap into your motivation differently. And so it’s the people that respond to the messaging almost more than do they like diet magazines? Are they pet people? That part has not been has not borne much fruit. 

Lyle: Do you do stuff like go on forums like Quora or any of those kinds of websites where they’re asking questions? 

Patricia: I have surveys that I do on my own. I bought my own survey software, and I sent stuff out periodically, more so to understand what people are eating, or what they’re seeing from my side. I think that’s another thing that we’ve done is some market feedback. 

So I’ve given my course away free in exchange for people to go on my site and answer some questions. What you think you’re putting out there, may not be what people are seeing. 

Lyle: And have you learned from those surveys? 

Patricia: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s been good. One comment is one comment, but when you hear something a couple of times, or there’s confusion, we’ve said we need to move that up. Reword that, or something like that. 

Lyle: I’m going to pivot for us in the conversation a little bit. I love that word! I’m going to take that word for this this week. That’s going to be my word for the week!

Pivoting into entrepreneurship. You deal with people who are dealing with diabetes that get burnout because the same old, same old, they don’t see any results. They don’t see the ends. So what would you tell an entrepreneur who’s going through a burnout situation in their life? 

Patricia: I think probably the easiest thing is failure is good, right? Failure teaches you what not to do. The trouble comes when we keep trying to do the same thing over and over again and we want it to work better than it did.

Whether it’s diabetes or whatever your strategy, whatever your tactic is, burnout happens often because we have an expectation we should do something. But we keep trying the same strategies. Perspective, a new set of eyes, somebody else to see what you can’t see is often helpful. I think that’s why a lot of networking and mastermind groups are really great, because you get a viewpoint that you can’t see. That’s kind of what I offer to people, too, because they’ve tried it and hear are the things they think they know how to do. They didn’t even know they have these options, and these aren’t working. 

I think it’s always getting outside the box and having other viewpoints that see what you can’t see because you’re looking out of your eyes. 

Lyle: It’s progress over perfection, I think. 

Patricia: Yes, absolutely. For diabetes, there is no perfection at all. So my mantra and my coaching is not about even trying perfection. We try persistence. If every day we get up and we do our best, and we’re aware, and we’re paying attention, and we’re playing the game, that’s all we can ask. 

It’s kind of like baseball, right? You can’t hit a homerun every day, but you can get up every day. Hold your bat, look at the ball, watch the pitcher and make decisions. 

Lyle: And entrepreneurship. I was just talking to a young man this week. He’s really struggling with stress and anxiety. He’s an entrepreneur. And I was like, you’ve got to create habits in your life. You’ve got to surround yourself with people. You’ve got to make small progress a little at a time. 

And so I think I think people miss the simplicity of that. They’re out there trying to do this 10x thing. But you force yourself so far out there that you miss the perspective of where you are right now, where you’ve come from, looking back to where you were a year ago versus where you are now. If you just stop and look at that, that’s huge. 

Patricia: This is so great because there are so many parallels when I work with someone. If you go to a doctor or when you get diagnosed, you’re right here. You need to do all these things that’ll change everything you think about your life, your food, your relationships, your money, your job, all that has to change. 

Well, if you’re going to snap back, it’s never going to happen. But the cool thing is, if you look back to the person you were, like you said a year ago, you’ve changed. We all change every day, and we change little tiny incremental ways based on experience. 

The things that we have, and the fact that we watch this podcast, the fact that you and I talked a long time ago, and now here there’s all these little things that are lining up that you’re probably not even aware of. And there’s a little bit of submitting yourself to the process, and always being mindful, but not always being prescriptive, and what the answer is. Just little tiny changes that go in the direction you want to go. And over time you’ll get closer. We never, ever get there, right? It always is elusive. We’ll never get there. It’s always more. Which is good, right? 

Lyle: Exactly. So if somebody has a family member or maybe themselves are dealing with diabetes and everything, how can they get in touch with you and what can you offer them? 

Patricia: Yes, absolutely. Social media is great. The name of my company is BetterDiabetesLife.com and I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, I don’t tweet as much, and LinkedIn.

My website has everything. I post a blog. There’s really inspirational stuff there. Stories I put, news bits, things that I see that are interesting to the diabetes community I publish there.

My course is online. That’s just on my website. It’s BetterDiabetesLife.com and you can take those online. You click and swipe and you’re granted access to that information. It’s twenty five videos that you watch a little informational piece on and then there’s a journal. The journal is really where all the magic happens. It’s a really in-depth detailed workbook where you figure out what to write because it’s your story, your world, your stuff that’s out there. 

I also do one-on-one coaching. I’ve got clients right now on Zoom call and I can get really personal, really into their specific issues, and helping them one on one. The website is probably the best way to go. 

Lyle: Well, thank you, Patricia. And again her website is BetterDiabetesLife.com. You can check that out. 

If you are struggling with diabetes or, you know, some point them in her direction. If you just need somebody to vent with, holler at me or her. I’m sure you need to deal with your stress, so just send a letter out to us. I’m sure Patricia would appreciate knowing that she’s impacted you in this little bit of 20 minute segment that we’re talking together. 

Patricia: You know, I want to ask one more thing. I just thought of something that I’m doing with the course is taking it to corporate wellness programs. That’s kind of the next evolution of things. So if there’s anyone listening that is in corporate wellness, this is a great opportunity where we can provide these two companies to provide it for people. One in 10 working people have diabetes. So it’s a huge impact, bottom line.

If anyone is listening and they have connections with corporate wellness, I would love to have that contact information, and see about really helping employers help their employees through some of this.

Lyle: Great and below the video. Whichever platform you’re watching this on, there’ll be a link to her website. And I guess you have a corporate section on your website that they can be pointed to as well.

Patricia: It’s in progress. We’re working on it. 

Lyle: So there will be maybe by the time they see this. Is there anything you want to leave us with? 

Patricia: Go do great things. Just trust in your heart that you’re here. You’re here for your purpose and your purpose is never to be a sick person. 

Lyle: Thank you so much. 

Patricia: You’re welcome.