Jasmin Waldmann- Just like her beautiful name, author Jasmin penned an equally impressive novel CHANGE ME. It narrates an inspiring journey of a man towards holistic fitness with the help of a life coach. The author is not only a life coach and also proved her credibility in different spheres of life. I am glad to share with you the interview I had with her recently.
Welcome to the platform of Indiacafe24. Jasmin Waldmann Mam, please share a brief about yourself, your education, and your family.
I am a global citizen. I grew up in Bavaria, Germany with my mother, grandmother, and sister. Sadly I lost my grandmother and mother, one after the other, quite early in life. The circumstances surrounding my childhood made life hard at that point, but it made me grow up quite fast and take charge of my own life. I quit school and started working.
After trying out different kinds of jobs and gaining success in sales and also accounting training over 4 years, and enjoying my free time, I became aware that I was standing at a crossroads: It was time to take charge of my career and find my passion. But whatever I wanted to needed a good school degree. I moved to Berlin when I was 19, finished school and graduated top of class. I then shifted to Cologne and earned a degree in Sports and Health from a private university. Besides this academic degree, I have several certifications in health, wellness and fitness, as well as in the area of the mind, including NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), Gestalt therapy and positive psychology.
In your book ‘Change Me’ you talked about common man and holistic fitness level and mindset. Please share a brief about this book.
Amit Malhotra, 35, is a highflying investment banker who loves his gut and all things gourmet. Amit is living the proverbial good life, which includes a loving family, a successful career and a luxurious life – albeit with a paunch. When a pretty twenty something calls him ‘uncle’ by mistake, the young corporate honcho is forced to evaluate his lifestyle. As if that weren’t enough, Amit has to face the harsh realities of his fast-paced life when he loses a close friend and colleague to a fatal heart attack in the middle of work. After this shock to his system, the gym-hating, conflict-avoiding, food-binging couch potato realizes that he will have to change his ways before a heart attack claims him, too. But will he be able to accomplish this steep climb? Change Me captures in detail a common man’s inspiring journey towards holistic fitness with the help of a life coach. Join Amit as he discovers his true being – his mind, body and spirit – and marches towards a healthy, fulfilling future.
How did you enter the Life Coaching industry? What would you consider your role in the industry?
During my studies at the university in Duesseldorf, I worked full-time in a health club. I had a personal training client who was an NLP trainer. As you know, I had to deal with several issues from my past. This NLP trainer coached me and helped me finish my unfinished business from the past. That process of being coached and supported at a crucial time in my life finally helped heal my wounds from the past. I underwent for a few years of psychoanalysis and behavioural therapy – without much success. But that NLP coach helped me to heal myself within a few months.
As a result, I could finally understand myself, move on from the scars of my past, and find my purpose. There it was, right in front of me: I had discovered my passion . I realized I want to help people the way this client helped me, just in a holistic way—including the body into the mix, too. The body and mind both need to be connected. So step by step, I did everything to work towards becoming a Life Coach. I already had a degree in sports and health, so I decided to combine my passions—mental and physical fitness. That’s how I started my journey. I shifted to the United States and moved to Australia for some time to study the markets there. After returning, in 2008 I opened my own company in Germany. A few years later, I got the opportunity to come to India to provide life coaching and training support at a gym chain by cricketer MS Dhoni. After more than 9 years in India, I shifted with my family to Dubai.
I believe, my role in the industry is to provide guidance and support to both corporates and individuals, and anyone who wants my guidance.
I believe in organic healing in the sense that people should heal from inside and then look outwards.
When did you think of writing Change Me and why?
While it is true that I work with many clients, I cannot reach out to everyone. I realized that there may be a lot of people who may not be able to afford consistent life coaching services or even feel comfortable or confident to approach a life coach. The thought just came to me while reflecting on a session I had just finished. I wondered how I could help people with similar, very common problems. I looked at my bookshelf and spotted a book—one of the first self-help books I had ever read. That’s when I had this idea that a book can be the entrance for many people to start their journey of self-discovery and guidance, even in leadership or other business topics.
I felt that a writing book would be a good way to help those who may be reluctant to get help or those who want to first try to help themselves before seeking help from a trained life coach. I did think a lot about what kind of book would be worth reading. A book that doesn’t raise the finger and tell people what to do. People love stories, we learn so much from stories. And when we are also entertained at the same time – it’s great, right?
So, I decided to create a character who did not initially want to hire a life coach or personal trainer, but gradually felt comfortable enough to ask for support to bring positive changes in his life. The reader goes through the transformational journey with Amit and can relate to one issue or the other besides finding a solution/solutions to personal problems or at least find some inspiration for her/his own issues.
Is there any particular phase of life when we should connect with a life coach?
There is no specific phase. A person can connect with a life coach at any phase of their life. Something is always going on in one’s life, isn’t it?
Usually, people think that they should approach a life coach when things are going wrong or nothing is going as planned. And most often, this is the point when people come and see me or one of my coaches. Truth to be told, people can connect with a professional life coach any time they want and/or need to take a new step forward; improve on what they have; build on their successes; bring positive changes to their lives; heal from past emotional wounds; or just simply because they feel like connecting with a life coach.
We are quite sure that you have helped many as a Life Coach. Could you tell us about 1 or 2 cases that gave you immense satisfaction.
There are so many cases, I shared also some cases in the book I was a guest author (“Mentorship-Driven Talent Management: The Asian Experience”).
One corporate cases that I remember was my meeting with the top management of a very big Indian company. They were the industrial leaders worldwide, yet they struggled immensely with people retention and a high attrition rate. At the very first meeting, I convinced the top management to immediately stop salary slashes when employees make mistakes. Another step was then to coach one by one all managers and leaders. This process lasted 6 months. And the result was terrific when it came to individuals’ successes and changes. The top management was also coached, we also worked on strategies and giving more trust and independence to their managers and leaders. As a result, the company was thriving and was able to lower the attrition rate.
Another case was that of a private client. She came to me when nothing else seemed to work out for her and she wasn’t able to reach her goals, despite all her efforts. She wanted to lose her last extra 10 kilos and that was the simple entry. It seemed easy, but it wasn’t. After some sessions with her, we identified the real reason why she couldn’t lose those last few kilos. She was an entrepreneur and burned out. She was also not working at that time. She was recovering from that, too. Apart from her very obvious issues, more things came up: she was molested as a child by a family member and she also needed to decide about her relationship with her husband. She made fast progress and took her life back into her hands. As a result, she lost 12 kilos, and was soon in great shape and fit. She also gained back her mental energy level and self-confidence. She separated from her husband and asked him to move out, renovated her apartment according to her likes, and started working in moderation.
In fact, my book Change Me is loosely based on a case that gave me a lot of satisfaction because I had to address so many aspects of the client’s life. If you read the book, you will get a clearer picture of what I am saying.
As an author what’s your opinion about the growth of Indian authors in the international book market?
I feel Indian authors are doing quite well in the international book market. From time to time, Indian authors have been getting the Booker Prize or making the long list or short list of such prizes. India is a large country with so many cultures and perspectives. The Booker Prize winner for 2022 was Geetanjali Shree whose book Tomb of Sand was a translation of her Hindi work. Then you have Arvinda Adiga, Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy, and Salman Rushdie. Not only these Booker Prize winners, many Indian authors have been doing so well internationally.
Writing, be it of any form, needs inspiration. Who is your inspiration?
Actually, all my clients inspire me. Not only clients, my family, pets, nature, my interactions with other people all inspire me. Even books and movies inspire me. I believe inspiration can be everywhere and in everything. We just need to be mindful of our surroundings. Inspiration can come all of a sudden from the most unexpected of places.
Is there any scope or possibility, we will get to read more works of yours in this genre or other?
Yes, I am working on another book, but this will take some time.
Who is your favorite author? Could you name one book that is very close to your heart?
Few books are close to my heart. When I started my journey of self-discovery at the age of 20 years, I read a couple of self-help books and attended a few seminars and workshops because of that. For example, Jan Philipp Sendker. I love his book, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats from the Burma trilogy. Another author which I like is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. It was the first book I read in English. Another brilliant author is Stephen King, no doubt. I especially liked the 7 books of The Dark Tower.
Another book is Jonas Jonasson’s The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. But most of all, a book close to my heart about my step-father and his struggles during his young adulthood. It is available only in German (so far). The title is Nicht Schweigen: Im rumänischen Gulag, by Eva Filip.
About non-fiction: I read many self-help books, amongst others Law of Attraction (by Esther and Jerry Hicks) – books which I highly recommend to read if someone wants to develop and thrive.
I love the work and the mind of Stephen Covey. One can learn so much about life from his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People! I also love the work of my friend Francesc Miralles (Ikigai), of Dale Carnegie, Robert Kiyosaki and Tim Ferris (especially The 4-Hour Workweek), many more.
Who is the best critic of your work?
It depends. As a leader, I have different go-to people for different aspects of myself. For example, as an author, I have some people I trust to give me an honest opinion about my work. As a private person, I have people within my inner circle who I turn to for feedback. As a professional, I trust my instincts, but I take feedback very seriously because feedback helps me grow. In general, my Life Partner is a very good critic. He is great about giving constructive feedback. Also, my friend and author Francesc Miralles gave me constructive feedback about the book I am currently writing.
What are the other passions in your life?
Instead, please ask me what are not my passions! I am interested in so many things. But especially music (I am also a trained singer, which a lot of people don’t know), personal growth, corporate development, dogs, nature and workouts, and all kinds of physical activities.
Any suggestions for budding authors?
Have to say something that is important for others.
It does not matter what you are writing about, just keep writing down your thoughts. My notes and jottings helped me create the book Change Me. So I feel writing down thoughts is very important. You will be surprised when those thoughts turn into a book. Also, give your work to people who mean well for you and ask for their feedback.
Define Jasmin Waldmann as an author in one line. Who is your favorite: Life coach Jasmin or Author Jasmin and why?
I don’t separate my persona or split myself into a or b. For me, there is no distinction between me and the different things that I do. It is all me: life coach, leader, artist, businesswoman, author, daughter, sister, mother, life partner, friend… I like who I am and I am comfortable with myself and everything I do. Being an author wasn’t ever on my list, it just happened. So I never miss an opportunity to experience everything life has to offer