Originally aired on pennychiasson.com.
I was overjoyed to be a guest on professional hypnotist Penny Chiasson's podcast Design Your Destiny. We shared wonderful conversations about how I was drawn to hypnotism, the challenges of starting your own practice, and much more personal insight about navigating life's challenges and helping others do the same.
Because entrepreneurship is a journey. Being a hypnotist is a journey, and they both crack open the path to personal development...
Penny introduces Erika as a former software engineer turned professional hypnotist. She's a member of the Order of the Brain and four time published author.
Erika shares a deep reflection about how she never expected to become a hypnotist. Over 10 years ago she was going through some dark times that landed her in the emergency room which sparked the necessity to make big changes in her life. Through a period of exploration she found hypnosis and quickly knew that this was something she needed to dive deeper into.
You you mentioned that lack of love and understanding. Would you continue on that thread a little bit?
Erika continues that one of her core issues was a deep feeling of loneliness. She's now able to notice whenever she's feeling lonely or separated that that is an invitation to do some internal work to reconnect with her spirituality or higher power.
Or if she notices someone in public that is obviously distressed, all she has to do is reach out with a bit of love and kindness to help them shake the state they're in.
Penny expands that she believes our current state of instant access to news and short form media has created an environment where it's easier to enter a heightened state of fear that can follow us around all day. She agrees that part of being a "healer" is having that deep awareness of how important collective consciousness is and that source or our higher power is a source of love and understanding.
Erika continues that it's always possible to change how you're feeling. If something is annoying her, then that is a clue to take a break. She doesn't have to let that annoyance spiral into a deeper cycle.
Can you share more about that dark time that led to you being hospitalized?
Erika shares that she used to have a problem with alcohol. She experienced her "big F-U" when she realized that the job, house, car, etc. isn't what makes someone happy and that she really wasn't living a life that brought her joy. Once she had started college and that trajectory, she also stopped doing everything she considers spiritual -- making music, connecting with nature, practicing her religion.
Erika and Penny discuss how many people's parents encouraged this path that happiness and success is going to college, getting a good job, getting the house, etc., but while that may have been completely sources in good intentions based on their own experience, it's not necessarily what works for the next generation.
What was the turning point for you that hypnosis was definitely the thing to do?
It was quite the journey for Erika after leaving the hospital that day. She started reading books about spirituality and started looking for different communities or classes. She tried some breath-work classes, and then saw a mini class on hypnosis and decided to try that out. Through her experience as a coder she was able to make a lot of deep insights about how the brain is running its own set of programs all the time, and hypnosis is a wonderful way to rewrite code in the places we want to experience a transformation. That connection gave her a big "A-ha!" feeling that she knew she had to explore more deeply.
Erika started her training and quickly utilized her connections with the corporate world to reach out to people and offer her new services as a hypnotist. Only two people responded, but it was the start to her journey! She got her first official client after teaching herself how to use Google Ads back in 2013.
What were some challenges you initially faced when starting your business?
The first challenge was time. Erika still had a full-time job and didn't have the client base to be a full-time hypnotist. She was able to make some adjustments to her work schedule and get support from her family to start the transition.
The next challenge was just learning how to be entrepreneur. Making clear boundaries about what was or wasn't in the client's best interest. Knowing how to tell if someone was truly serious about doing the deep work necessary to get results from hypnosis, or if they were just expecting some sort of wizardry to happen that would make their problems disappear. Discovering the value of responding to phone calls or emails as quickly as possible.
Penny expands that she has also seen the value of quick responses because when people are reaching out for hypnosis they are often feeling that it is a last resort to find any relief or comfort. These people are yearning to be seen and understood.
They continue to discuss that hypnosis is becoming more popular as people hear more and more about how successful hypnotherapy is. Both Erika and Penny express how much change they witness their clients go through, and that these changes radiate into their relationships which also improve just by working on themself.
Tell us about how you train people to not only be successful hypnotists, but also successful entrepreneurs.
Erika discusses how within her first year of running her practice her schedule quickly filled up and she was having clients needing to wait for three months to get an appointment. She felt bad for making them wait for so long, so she was looking for a way to hire another hypnotist. Erika had a lot of experience training people as a programmer, so she was comfortable translating those skills towards training hypnotists. She started training and was able to hire another hypnotist so that clients could be seen more quickly.
She absolutely loves training hypnotists!
How do people train with you?
You can visit www.cascadehypnosistraining.com for lots of information. You can also read Erika's book Can You Be A Hypnotist? which is for those that are serious about helping others with hypnosis and also want meaningful work that makes a positive impact in the world. You can easily learn about the modern, professional, and heart-centered approach to hypnotherapy that brings lasting relief to clients, and fulfillment and a lucrative career to the practitioner.
We also offer the Hypnosis Lunch and Learn series which is offered most Thursdays at noon pacific time. You will learn about how hypnosis works and experience it live!
Finally if you're an aspiring hypnotists, high performer, coach, entrepreneurs and/or healer we offer the One Day Hypnosis Boot Camp to teach you a little hypnosis to help serve your clients.
What's a final piece of advice you'd like to give the audience about finding peace within themselves?
Be kind to yourself. Progress needs softness, and if we're being mean or harsh to ourselves then the changes we want to make will be much harder.
If you'd like to learn more about Penny or listen to other episodes of her podcast, please visit her website: pennychiasson.com