D Bnonn Tenant: You worked, went back to school and started your business at the same time as raising kids. I know from personal experience that just doing the latter is a full-time job -- so what was your secret to having time for all three?
Ruthi Backenroth: Yes, there are only 24 hours in a day for all of us, but it didn’t happen quite the way you put it. I went back for my MBA while I was raising my children, and while I definitely worked, I did not have a paying position at the time. I started my business a number of years later.
As the top student in my class at the MBA graduation, I was asked to speak, but instead asked someone to say these words in my behalf. “One of the reasons for continuing my education is to be a role model for my children, as a person who continues to learn and advance herself throughout life.”
I honor all women, my children included, who raise their kids and work at the same time.
DBT: It's a cliché in business that professionals never follow their own advice. The shoemaker's kids always go barefoot and chefs grab fast food on the way home. So I'm curious as to how much you use your own techniques to stay calm and stress-free -- especially given the emotionally taxing work you do with victims of past trauma.
RB: I love that question. I use these mental exercises every day for myself, although I don’t need to tap in the same way that a novice EFT tapper would. I tell people that I tap in my sleep, and it’s absolutely true. I find myself automatically thinking about any stresses in a way that helps them to resolve themselves.
And yes, people call me with their traumatic events. However I don’t pick up their negative stuff, because we both tap together. I often feel great, although sometimes a bit drained, after a tapping session.
Friends and family find me to be very calm, and rarely overwhelmed. In fact the most effective EFT practitioners, do lots of self-work before ever starting to work with clients.
DBT: Many people view complementary medicine as mumbo-jumbo and snake oil. Do you market to the skeptics? If so, how do you get past the "woo-woo" factor?
RB: I relate very well to those types because I was one of them. I market to men and women in the business world, and leave out any talk about energy, spirituality, or the other words that would have alienated me a few years ago.
As acupuncture is more accepted these days, and the mind body connection is obvious to most people who suffer with physical pain, I talk about the breakthrough relief I offer using those terms. We tap on acupuncture points, while thinking about the pain and somehow it helps. These methods provide lasting results.
Almost everyone has a memory or a thought, that when you think about it, you get a body reaction; the chills, the nose scrunches up, you feel the need to change body position or something else. There is something about that memory that is still affecting your body.
The body naturally heals itself. If you have chronic pains that stay for years, it’s because you have memories and thoughts that are keeping them stuck in your system. Otherwise, there is no reason for ongoing pain that keeps coming back. I can often help people to relax that memory or thought, so that if feels as neutral as “the sky is blue.” When the thought is relaxed, the pain also relaxes.
We have many more metaphors and stories to share with people who are skeptical.
In truth, if a person is not willing for these mental exercises to work, or isn’t open to the concept of mind-body connection, he probably won’t want to talk with me. However I do tell people that this isn’t like a placebo and they don’t have to believe it will work. If they simply do the mental exercises I teach, they can feel better.
DBT: For those of who aren't familiar with EFT, could you briefly explain what it is and how it works?
RB: Sure, we tap on acupuncture points with our fingertips, while thinking about our physical and emotional pain as well as the thoughts and memories associated with the pain. Using this process, I consistently help clients reduce pain and negative emotions time after time to provide lasting results.
We tap on the same meridian points used in age-old Chinese medicine. In at least one study EFT tapping was shown to significantly improve both cortisol related stress levels and self-reported psychological symptoms after a single session.
DBT: I was intrigued that you recommend that business owners don't create their own websites. Why not?
RB: If you are not in the business of website creation, then creating your own website is not the shortest path to cash. It has been very time consuming, but I love learning new things and it has been a fun and educational ride.
My website and my Internet marketing is a story in itself. I tell this story to demonstrate the power of EFT Tapping.
About 2 years ago I knew that a website was the next step. With no idea about how to get a website created or where to start, I happened to listen to a podcast by EFT Master, Carol Look, who suggested the following exercise for financial stress.
Take a bill that needs to be paid and is causing angst, or take a check and make it out for one million dollars, and look at the item while tapping for the specific fears, anxieties, regrets, guilts and old stories that come to mind. As you tap, the uncomfortable feelings seem to shift and you begin to feel relaxed, calm and confident.
I modified that technique and wrote my domain name, “www.eftaction.com” on a piece of paper. Looking at that piece of paper, I tapped about my own discomforts for more than 2 hours. I kept that paper in a drawer and thought about it every once in a while.
My actions over the next month proved to me that the tapping helped change my mindset around getting a website, putting my photo out there, marketing my business and so many other limiting beliefs. After tapping I got smarter about learning new skills and implementing projects I never imagined I would accomplish.
After two weeks I found myself naturally doing research about websites. It felt right and fun, and I learned a huge amount about website creation and marketing.
A few weeks after that I started to implement what I was learning, and the first version of www.eftaction.com was up and in place. It was a shaky process and my sites continue to evolve, but the first step was to address my fears and feelings of discomfort about getting my name out to people like you.
In fact my website name has changed to www.BreakthroughRelief.com. That will take you to the same site.
I now have a website, a blog with some great articles, and a few landing pages, as well as 2 self-help programs, one for pain relief and the other for marketing stress relief. In fact as a self-taught Internet Marketer, I was listed as one of the Top 100 Women in Ecommerce for 2012. Not bad for a consultant for pain relief.
DBT: Tell me a little about creating your two programs. Do you consider your passive income a nice bonus to your client work, or are you hoping to make it the bulk of your income one day -- and if so, how is that going?
RB: I would like to grow the passive and leveraged income side of my business and expect that I will do that. This would allow me to serve larger numbers of people by creating and offering easy to use pain relief tools, such as my self-help programs.
Meanwhile, my core practice is one-on-one sessions and our results are usually transformative. I love working on that deep, individualized level. We work by phone or Skype, in the comfort of our own homes or offices.
The pain relief and marketing stress relief programs, are two of the hidden treasures on my extensive website. Writing 276 Slightly Hypnotic Questions has helped me to refine the way I work with clients. The act of asking lots of questions is a powerful catalyst for change within the subconscious mind.
The questions in 276 Slightly Hypnotic Questions are the ones used by the most successful EFT Practitioners. The questions can help to create transformative changes in the way you think and the way you go about your life.
My Create Your Success With Social Media program includes a tapping script with instructions. I was inspired to share the experience of going forward with Internet marketing after changing my mindset by tapping. If I can do it, anyone can. You can change your marketing mindset and then have an easier time finding the right expert to make it happen in a way that works for you.
These programs, as well as my free guide called The 5 Step Guide To A Comfortable Back, are available at the website.
DBT: EFT can be used for all sorts of pain and stress, and you treat clients with a wide range of issues. What made you decide to market your skills as a solution to back pain specifically?
RB: I want to make it clear that I have no medical training and I don’t refer to my sessions as treatment. The services I offer do not take the place of medical treatment.
There were four factors that inspired me to provide breakthrough relief for people in the business world who suffer with back pain.
First of all, I found EFT as a solution to my own back pain. When my youngest child went abroad to study for the year, our empty nest syndrome threw a spotlight on my back pain.
I have a memory of sitting on the couch with my laptop, determined to Google a solution to my back issue on the Internet. I felt that the pain must be psychological (although I have a diagnosis of low bone density) since the pain’s location and intensity were constantly changing, and stress made it worse.
Finding the original EFT site and tapping for a slight emotion, which disappeared immediately, was an event that has changed my life, and brings me here today.
Secondly, I worked successfully with myself as well as with my mother to alleviate our severe back pains to the extent that the pains are almost nonexistent. My mom used to go to pain clinics, and suffered with severe back pain, before I taught her these mental exercises.
Thirdly, one of my first paying clients was a business owner with back pain who came purely as a result of studying my website. He paid me on a retainer basis for four months, and that was a great boost to my self-confidence.
The fourth factor is that the two most popular articles on my Blogsite are about back pain in the workplace. You can find my articles at www.feelbetterfasterblog.com.
These four factors convinced me that I would do well to offer my skills to people in business, as a solution to their back pain issues.
DBT: One rule for entrepreneurs is "Do what you love doing, and outsource the rest". What do you think?
RB: It’s a great rule. I have been very successful with my small trials at outsourcing, and I expect that a corollary for that rule also holds true, “When you outsource, you create space in your business to grow.” I would also expand on the “do what you love” rule to suggest prioritizing the tasks that increase revenue.
Here is another great suggestion. Develop an intention to “implement immediately” with enthusiasm, even when you outsource the implementation. You will quickly discover your mindset challenges. Pay attention and resolve those challenges so that you can continue to move forward in your business.
DBT: I think most entrepreneurs probably suffer from stress to some degree. Is there maybe a tip you could give us for quickly reducing the effects of stress and anxiety?
RB: Yes, I call this Emergency Tapping and it’s quick and easy. Just tap with your fingertips on your collarbone and say ‘I’m OK’, a number of times until you feel a little better or a little distracted, and more comfortable.
DBT: Thanks so much for taking the time to share your expertise. If people want to learn more about Ruthi Backenroth and her insights, how can they go about that?
RB: Please go to www.easybackrelief.com and download “5 Step Guide To A Comfortable Back.” Just put your name and email in the form on the top right so it goes to the correct address. You will get the guide and a wealth of useful information. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about this new approach to pain relief.