Wellness entrepreneurship

"I believe self-awareness is the greatest asset for any new or aspiring entrepreneur" with Juliet Starrett

Juliet Starrett is an entrepreneur, attorney, and CEO of two world-renowned fitness companies —The Ready State (formerly MobilityWOD) and San Francisco Crossfit. She is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Deskbound: Standing Up To A Sitting World and the co-founder of and StandUpKids, a non-profit dedicated to combating kids' sedentary lifestyles by bringing standing/moving desks to low-income public schools.

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Can you tell our readers about your background?

I am a lifelong athlete, an attorney, and an entrepreneur. I rowed in high school and was on the U.C. Berkeley crew team. I went on to paddle professionally for the U.S. Women’s Extreme Whitewater Team from 1997 - 2000 where I won two World Championships and five national titles. In 2018, I reunited with my team to win another Whitewater World Championship in Argentina, this time as a master’s athlete. 

After graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 1995, I earned my J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2003. For nearly eight years, I had a successful career as an attorney practicing complex commercial litigation at the large international firm Reed Smith.

I left the legal field in 2010 to run our businesses full-time. I am now the CEO of two world-renowned fitness companies — The Ready State and San Francisco Crossfit. My husband Kelly and I co-founded San Francisco Crossfit in 2005 (as one of first 50 Crossfit gyms in the world) and MobilityWOD in 2008, which has revolutionized how athletes think about human movement and athletic performance.

I am also the co-author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Deskbound: Standing Up To A Sitting World and co-founder of StandUpKids.org, a non-profit dedicated to combating kids' sedentary lifestyles by bringing standing/moving desks to low-income public schools. To date, StandUpKids has converted 95,000 kids from sitting to standing at school (and counting). 

What inspired you to start your business? 

We didn’t start either of our businesses as a business per se. Instead, we started each one in an effort to solve a problem. In 2004, while seeking more effective ways to train, my husband and I discovered a little known workout program called Crossfit. We started doing some of the workouts and were hooked.

As former professional athletes, the Crossfit program spoke to us because it was so challenging, pushed our athletic limits, and we saw immediate results. And, the workouts were short and sweet so we could do them without dedicating hours and hours to training. 

We started training in our backyard and slowly our friends and family joined us. But, we quickly outgrew the yard and realized we needed a legitimate place to train. There were no other Crossfit’s in San Francisco (and very few anywhere at that point) so we decided to open San Francisco Crossfit, which is the 21st Crossfit affiliate (there are now more than 15,000 worldwide). 

In addition to classes and private coaching, my husband Kelly moved his physical therapy practice to SFCF. He began to see clients with the same musculoskeletal injuries over and over. He realized that most of these injuries were preventable with better movement or fixable with some simple mobilizations or soft-tissue work done at home.

In response to this clear need and lack of general education and understanding about movement, mechanics, and mobility, we started the “Mobility Project” in 2008 on YouTube. We published a video a day for 365 days on movement, mechanics, mobility, injury prevention, and general health/fitness topics. MobilityWOD was born.

We grew to over 230,000 subscribers on YouTube until 2013 when we switched to a membership business model. Today, we have 14,000 paying subscribers, we have written 5 books (including two New York Times Bestsellers), consulted with over a hundred teams and organizations, and have put more than 20,000 coaches through our training programs. 

Where is your business based?

San Francisco Crossfit is based in the Presidio in San Francisco. MobiltyWOD is based in San Rafael, California, about 20 minutes north of San Francisco. 

 How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

The first step we took in starting San Francisco Crossfit was becoming an official Crossfit affiliate. We then secured the sanfranciscocrossfit.com URL and built a rudimentary 2005-era website.

Our first step in starting MobilityWOD was publishing our first free video on YouTube in 2008. We didn’t do any advertising or marketing and just slowly built a dedicated audience by offering useful content.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

San Francisco Crossfit has grown almost entirely through word of mouth and by offering consistently good quality coaching and customer experience.  

We effectively raised awareness and grew MobilityWOD initially by offering unique, free content that solved problems for people. Whether it was giving people the tools to fix a nagging injury or helping them squat more at the gym, our content has always been oriented toward problem-solving. When you solve a problem for someone (especially nagging pain or injury), they are a fan and customer for life. 

 What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? 

San Francisco Crossfit has been in business for nearly 15 years and MobilityWOD for nearly 13 years. Our challenge has been to stay current and relevant. When we started MobilityWOD as a subscription/membership service in 2013, we were literally the first in the health and fitness industry to even consider charging for content. At that time, it was enough to offer a good product at a good price with a decent website and the customers signed up.

Now, in order to stay competitive, we need to stay current with all of the latest digital marketing trends including things like paid social media advertising, Google SEO, YouTube ads, content marketing, email marketing, split testing, social messaging apps, and even artificial intelligence. As a small and fully bootstrapped company, it has been a challenge to figure out where and how to effectively spend our marketing dollars. 

How do you stay focused?

I stay focused by being disciplined about sticking to my schedule and calendar, working really hard to remove complexity and mystery from my businesses by focusing on the fundamentals, and fixating on continued learning and growth.

I’m a voracious reader of the New York Times, New Yorker, Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider and Inc. and I chip away at reading as many business-focused books as I can. I just finished reading Confessions of A Pricing Man: How Price Affects Everything by Hermann Simon. It has been on my list for several years and has invaluable pricing insights for aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs alike.  

 How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

Our largest differentiator is our social proof. Over the past 15 years, we have helped and consulted with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, the All Blacks, Arsenal, every branch of the U.S. Military including special forces, the U.S. Olympic Committee and a host of Olympic athletes, the UFC, the US Ski Team, Tour de France cyclists, and countless university strength and conditioning programs.

In addition, our New York Times bestselling book Becoming A Supple Leopard is considered THE book on movement, mobility, and mechanics.

Our competitors focus on knocking off our techniques but lack the deep underlying experience and social proof that we have earned not only being in but creating this business.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

Our most effective marketing strategy is content marketing. Our goal with our content marketing strategy is to create valuable, useful, and relevant free content to attract and retain an audience. The ultimate goal, of course, is driving customers to eventually purchase something from us. 

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

“Know thyself” - Socrates. I believe self-awareness is the greatest asset for any new or aspiring entrepreneur. We all have strengths and weaknesses but we must be honest about what those are and be ready to hire people to fill gaps in our experience or expertise.

For example, if you are in a business that requires customer service but can’t respond quickly to email/text/voicemail and/or lack attention to detail, you need to hire someone who excels at those skills. I see too many new entrepreneurs try to do it all themselves, including things they don’t excel at, and it is a recipe for disaster. 

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why? 

My favorite app is BrainFM. It provides music designed for the brain to improve focus, meditation, relaxation, naps & sleep. I use it to help focus during the day and to drown out office noise. I even use it to facilitate 15-minute power naps and to meditate. 

My favorite book of late is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. I think it is a must-read for everyone. The book is clear and well-written and does the best job I’ve seen of explaining why sleep is THE most important (and easiest) thing we can do for our health.

I’ve been really enjoying the Backlinko blog by Brian Dean. He is one of my go-to resources for actionable SEO and marketing advice. 

 What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?

I love Asana, the web-based project management tool. It’s intuitive and easy to use and has been the most effective tool in improving my and my team’s productivity. 

 Who is your business role model? Why?

 Arianna Huffington is my business role model. She is obviously the founder of The Huffington Post and one of Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women but I am particularly inspired by her focus on health, well-being and sleep through her Thrive Global platform. 

What is your beauty routine? What are some of your favorite products?

The focus of my beauty routine is sleeping an average of eight hours a night and exercising/training 5 days a week. I do love Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 and Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

How do you balance work and life?

I don’t even try to achieve work-life balance. When I do, I feel like its just another thing on my list I’m trying to “achieve” and that ends up adding more general stress to my life. I’m a busy entrepreneur working to grow two businesses and raising two girls. My focus is on my husband, my girls, my health, my businesses, and my community, in that order. I don’t expect my life will always be so full, especially after my daughters leave home, so I’m just embracing and enjoying the madness. 

What’s your favorite way to decompress?

In addition to exercising and sleeping, I love to read, cook, be outdoors, and hang out with my kids.  

 What do you have planned for the next six months?

In September 2019, we are rebranding our company MobilityWOD to The Ready State along with rebuilding our website and user experience from the ground up.  

When we launched MobiltiyWOD in 2008, we were the only company using “WOD” in a business title. Since then, the market has become crowded and confusing with hundreds of businesses using the WOD moniker (i.e, ROMWOD, PowerWOD, GOWOD, FaithWOD, etc.).

The name MobilityWOD also does not represent all that we do as a business. We do offer mobility content but we also write books, teach courses, consult with professional organizations, sell gear (and more) and the name MobilityWOD no longer encompasses all of our diverse work. This is the next big step for our company and we are confident it will continue to move our business in the right direction and foster growth. 

On the StandUpKids front, we are working with researchers at U.C. Berkeley from the ergonomics and education departments to organize and initiate a 2-year comprehensive study of the benefits of kids using standing/moving desks versus sitting at school. Our goal is to have California-based research that we can share with the legislature in the hopes that standing/moving at school becomes the norm, not the exception. 

How can our readers connect with you?

Juliet Starrett, J.D.

CEO, MobilityWOD Inc. & San Francisco Crossfit

415-350-9762

Thereadystate.com

www.sanfranciscocrossfit.com

www.standupkids.org

LinkedIn

Instagram

Facebook

Instagram

San Francisco Crossfit Instagram

"Keep going and be consistent" with Sophie Bibbs

Sophie Bibbs

Sophie Bibbs is a digestive health coach that helps women struggling with IBS and uncomfortable digestive problems to take control of their gut. She works virtually with clients all over the world, so they can take control of their gut from wherever they are. She offers personalized support to work out what's triggering your problems, and feel better, so you can get on with living your life! She has trained with IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Monash, the creators of the low FODMAP diet.

Can you tell our readers about your background?

Sure! I graduated with a degree in business and worked for 8 years in sales, digital media and marketing. I more recently followed a passion and trained in health and nutrition coaching. I combined all these skills to set up my business as a digestive health coach, helping women struggling with IBS and nasty digestive symptoms to feeling more comfortable, in control and confident.

 What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired to start my business by a personal problem, actually! I suffered with IBS for most of my life but, when I moved to Malaysia a few years ago, I caught a parasite infection and my symptoms got much worse. I was given all the tests under the sun and eventually diagnosed with IBS. The doctor wrote ‘low FODMAP diet’ on a bit of paper and sent me on my way. I was so relieved to have a diagnosis but, at the same time, totally lost as to what to do about it.

I didn’t want to give up, so I trained in the low FODMAP diet (not really a diet, but a process for figuring out your IBS trigger foods, founded by Monash University) and took myself through it. I worked out what was triggering my IBS and I felt better! It really did change my life.

As I talked to more and more people with IBS, I found I wasn’t the only one who’d been sent on my way by my doctor after my diagnosis. I felt the urge to pass on my knowledge and help other people in this situation through it, so they didn’t have to feel so alone. So, I trained in health and nutrition and I set up my business.

 Where is your business based? 

I set my business up in Malaysia, and have recently moved to Chicago. However, I work virtually and see clients online through video call, so have a worldwide client base.

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

 The first step I took when starting my business was to make a plan. I planned where I wanted to get to in a year’s time and then I broke that plan down into little pieces. Looking at the huge goal of ‘setting up a business’ sounded totally ominous, so I broke it down. By figuring out what I needed to do each month, then each week, then each day, it seemed manageable.

Sophie Bibbs


What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

The most effective way of raising awareness for me has been through blogging and social media. The key for me has been consistency. Ever since I started my business, I’ve made sure that I post every day on social media and I blog every week. Sometimes, I haven’t wanted to do it, but I haven’t missed a week. It’s raised awareness slowly, but it’s been organic and has gradually built up.

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge has been not getting disheartened. It’s so easy to feel like you’re working so hard but getting nowhere, and to want to give up. There have been a few times where I’ve felt like I just wanted to have a little cry. I’ll tell you my little trick for getting through this, which might sound totally weird. I’ve got a folder in my phone where I keep photos/screenshots/testimonials from everyone who I’ve helped and who feels better because of my work and my business. When I’m feeling disheartened, I take a look at that. It reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing and inspires me to keep going so I can help more people feel better.

How do you stay focused?

At the start of every week, I write a plan. I write out my 3 big goals for that week and then list out all the tasks I need to do to achieve those 3 goals. Once I’ve listed out all those tasks, I plan when I’m going to do them and block the time out in my diary. I then stick to those commitments just like I would any other.

How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

This may sound silly, but I focus on being me. There are loads of people out there doing the same thing, but nobody will do it in the same way that you will. I focus on telling my story and talking about the approach I take. Some people will resonate with me, and some people won’t..and that’s OK.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

Great client service! I focus on giving every client I have the absolute best experience I can. Obviously, that benefits them as they finish up working with me feeling great, but it benefits me too. They write me a glowing testimonial, that will help me to market myself to new clients, and they talk about me and refer me to their friends, acting as free marketing!

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Keep going and be consistent! There will be days when you feel like you’re doing all the things and getting absolutely nowhere. However, keeping your head up and consistently putting yourself out there, whether it’s with your blog, social media, workshops or calls, will pay off in the long run. Being consistent builds trust with your potential customers and shows them they can count on you, which will make them much more likely to want to work with you.

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

App - Evernote. I’ve got it on my phone and laptop, and love it because it lets me record everything so easily. I’ll be out and about listening to a podcast, and hear a great tip, so just jot it into Evernote on my phone. Then, when I get home, I can pull the notes up onto my laptop.

Blog - I’m actually much more of a podcast listener, as I love being able to listen to something when I’m walking or exercising. My favourite podcasts at the moment are Rise by Rachel Hollis and Brand Yourself by Blair Badenhop. They both interview inspiring women who’ve set up their own businesses, and they always leave me feeling empowered and energized.

Book - I’ve just read Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden. A fellow business builder recommended this book to me and it really resonated with me. Rory says in the book ‘success means doing things you don’t want to do,’ which doesn’t sound glamorous but is so true. It was a great reminder for me that building a business isn’t glamorous and you’ve got to put in the hard work, but it’s so worth it.

What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why? 

Sounds simple, but I love Google docs. It allows me to access my documents from wherever and also to share documents like food diaries and coaching summaries with clients seamlessly.

Who is your business role model? Why? 

Rachel Hollis. I have a serious girl crush on her. Why? I just love her attitude and approach to business. She is a firm believer that you can do anything, BUT that you can’t just hope it’ll happen. You have to put your head down and work your ass off for it.

What is your beauty routine? What are some of your favorite products? 

I use a natural cleanser every morning, that one of my best friends made for me. I was dubious, but my skin has been amazing since I started. Aside from that, I love Liz Earle skincare as it’s gentle on my sensitive skin. I don’t like to wear loads of makeup, but Bare Minerals is my favourite brand as it looks super natural. I just bought all of my wedding make up from there.

How do you balance work and life?

I am really strict about making sure I have weekends and evenings. I don’t work after 7pm and I don’t work on weekends, and I stick with that. That’s been a hard one to balance as a business owner, as it can be so easy to keep going, especially when you love what you do. So, those rules have really helped me keep the balance I need.

What’s your favorite way to decompress?

I love running! For me it’s a form of mediation. No matter how stressful my day has been, just popping in my headphones and going for a run outside acts as a form of meditation for me and really clears my head. If I’m lacking energy for a run, a walk normally does the trick too.

What do you have planned for the next six months?

 Over the next 6 months, I’m opening up more coaching slots, so I can work with more and more clients one on one. I’m also looking at putting together DIY resources for IBS sufferers, so more people can get the help they need.

How can our readers connect with you? 

You can check out my website at www.sophiebibbs.com or I’m @sophiebibbs on all forms of social media (although Instagram is my fave).

www.sophiebibbs.com

"If you try to appeal to everyone, you won’t affect anyone" with Jennifer Woodward

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Jennifer Woodward is a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist who specializes in helping women to get to the bottom of their chronic health concerns.  She believes in finding the root cause to autoimmune disease, weight issues, hormonal imbalance, and chronic fatigue. Drawing on her extensive clinical and practical knowledge of the body, she crafts individual healing programs to help women thrive.

 Can you tell our readers about your background?

I have been a student of the body since I was a young child. My mom suffered from brittle Type 1 diabetes and our lives were run around her disease. If her sugars were too low, she would have a “reaction” and pass out and the paramedics would have to be called. If she was too high, she was manic and spacey. She was a great mom, but my sisters and I learned how to care for her early on.

In college, I constructed a special minor in Nutrition and pulled from nursing and pre-med and biology to learn all I could about the body while I was pursuing Psychology, which I thought was going to be my career track.

Life pulled me in another direction and I started working in a lucrative position for Abbott Labs, selling pharmaceuticals to physicians. The training I received also gave me plenty of information about the human body’s physiology and me found it fascinating, though the job itself was pretty repetitive and dull.

 I took a 12-year hiatus from the workplace to raise and homeschool my four kids, but when they were ready to go back to “real school”, I was ready to pursue my true passion: nutrition. I went back to school and studied to become a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist. FDNs are integrative health practitioners that look at the body. We are trained to disseminate traditional and functional lab work to look for the hidden causes of disease. 

I finished school and went into private practice as soon as my kids were back in the classroom.

What inspired you to start your business?

 Most of us are in the integrative health field because we have our own health problems traditional medicine not solved that. I am no exception to this. For years, I just did not feel “well”. I was exhausted and had skin issues like psoriasis and suffered from major digestive complaints like IBS, pain, bloating, and food allergies. I had undiagnosed thyroid issues and was plagued by recurrent Epstein Barr reactivations. These problems led to anxiety, mild depression, and severe insomnia. My hormones were all over the place. I had gone from doctor to doctor and had found no help. In fact, I had gotten worse, and I was at the end of my rope.

As I was searching for help on the internet (!), I came across a few FDN practitioners and the healing modalities they used made sense to me. All of my doctors were treating my symptoms, one at a time. Functional Diagnostic Nutrition treats the body as a whole. I asked my husband for his thoughts on enrolling in the program and he was all for it. So I did. As I started to feel better, I was inspired to bring this information to as many women as possible. I couldn’t get my business started fast enough.

Where is your business based? 

My physical location is in Bakersfield, California. I work in an office with some amazing chiropractors. But much of my business is non-local. I work online via a HIPAA-compliant platform with women all over the world.

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

I finished school and realized I had a passion for helping women but no business training. My husband has started many businesses on his own, so I asked him a bunch of questions and he helped guide me toward the logistics of starting a business. I’m a girl, and I love pretty things, so I started with my website and branding just to get my creative juices flowing. I spent countless hours on trainings and seminars on how to brand and advertise via social platforms.  A local business here offered me a great deal on their excellent two-day immersive branding workshop. That stuff was fun for me after so many months dealing with the headiness of my studies.

On the practical side, I registered my business with the state, obtained my reseller’s permit, drew up documents with my lawyer, found some sweet office space with some wonderful people, and started hustling to promote my business.

I taught cooking classes in my home with a friend and then made my attendees stay for an informal class on food and hormones. These were fun (good food and alcohol and music!) and became popular. I started getting clients who liked my message. 

Jennifer Woodward

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

Social media is hands-down the most effective way of raising awareness for my business. 

I actually, am a private person. I had no social media before I started my business, and I was a happy abstainer. But I realized that social channels would be excellent and organic means of promoting my business, so I sought out people to teach me how to use these. Some of my friends with established businesses gave me pointers, I paid for some classes, and I taught myself the rest.

I realized I love to teach. Public speaking does not scare me, and I can speak better in front of people than I can in real life (like when I am talking to my kids and tell them to “go get an apple out of you know, that big cold thing!”)

Teaching on social channels allows me to connect with people and share information that is of benefit to them. A wise friend told me one time, “give 95% of your content away for free”. Holy shit, I thought. No way. But it was a great piece of advice. If I learn something new, I share it right away so people see me as a helpful teacher. That’s really what I want to be, anyway.

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

 I knew nothing about starting a business. It felt super daunting to create something out of nothing. My first year in business, I overpaid the state by $1600 by double-paying taxes because I didn’t know enough about business financials. It took me countless hours to learn how to build and maintain a busy website. I was constantly worried that I was doing something wrong on the business side. To overcome this, I prayed a lot and took things one day at a time. I realized that I couldn’t be too prideful in wanting to do everything myself, so I sought out advice on how to run the business side of things, and now I feel like things are running smoothly on that end.

A huge challenge for me was to not take things personally. I am a perfectionist, and I am super empathetic. When things were going great for my first clients, I was on top of the world. But when clients were not progressing in the way I thought they should, or when I could not unravel a complicated health problem, I would start to doubt myself personally and professionally. My husband had to remind me of my role- as teacher and educator, not a “fixer”. Our FDN model is “an opt-in model of self-care”- meaning that we teach and encourage, and the client has to do the work. Results aren’t really attributed to us either way. Once I saw this more, I became a better practitioner.

How do you stay focused? 

I can’t do vision boards or even daily checklists. It drives me nuts. I am very good at looking at the big picture and working backward. Once I see the desired outcome in my mind’s eye, I can take the steps necessary to get there. 

It helps me to incorporate daily exercise, eat really well, spend quality time with my family, and be present wherever I am. My husband and I have our morning a ritual where we get up early, drink coffee and read our Bibles, chat about random stuff, and get ready mentally for the day. 

I also go to bed by 9:30 most days. Ha. 

How do you differentiate your business from the competition? 

I teach wellness, but I am not all or nothing. I am a mom of four with a husband who has to entertain for part of his job. While a healthy body is a necessary part of overall wellness, I focus more on teaching my clients how to relax, relieve stress, sleep well, and enjoy the life they have. I take a more balanced approach to wellness and I think my clients love that. I teach them how to nourish themselves so they can nourish others. 

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business? 

My weekly Instagram videos are an effective marketing tool. I love to share information every Tuesday, and my followers are always appreciative for health tips. Most of my free 15-minute discovery calls start with “I have been following you on Instagram for a while….

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Find exactly who you want to serve. I work with men and children and families and corporations and group homes and I love all of it, but my passion is women’s hormonal health. This is where I focus all of my studies and classes and programs. I want to be the best at what I do, so I have to focus on my niche. If you try to appeal to everyone, you won’t affect anyone. 

What’s your favorite app, blog, and book? Why? 

My favorite app is Mint. Fiscal responsibility is one of the primary rules of having a successful business. I can track my expenses and income here. I don’t naturally take to rules or budgets, so this is a great tool to keep me on track financially. Having the Mint app made me delete my second favorite app, that devil Amazon. Stop stealing my money with tchotchkes I don’t need, damn it!

What’s your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

My favorite app is Mint. Fiscal responsibility is one of the primary rules of having a successful business. I can track my expenses and income here. I don’t naturally take to rules or budgets, so this is a great tool to keep me on track financially. Having the Mint app made me delete my second favorite app, that devil Amazon. Stop stealing my money with tchotchkes I don’t need, damn it!

My all-time favorite blog is Mark’s Daily Apple. I have camped here on the weekends for years. I’ve read all of Mark Sisson’s books and most of his free stuff on the blog. I’m bummed he followed the recent keto trend because he has always risen above the diet rabble, but his insights on integrative health are unparalleled. He was living this lifestyle before most of us were born. I love the way his site balanced health and real life, and the research articles I pick up from his blog are incredible. Thanks for everything, Mark. 

My favorite book is Kelly Kapic’s Embodied Hope. We don’t know how to deal with suffering as a culture. The church is even deficient in this area. Kapic looks at physical suffering from a personal perspective and gives a great framework for how to deal with it yourself, and how to help others who are suffering.

What’s your favorite business tool or resource? Why?

My online HIPAA-compliant platform is everything right now. I can work anywhere I need to with Healthie. I invested in it last year and it has been a game changer for me. I can host video chats with my out of state or out of country clients. I keep all records securely online. Clients can book via the website, change appointments, and get reminders. I set up a series of welcome videos and worksheets for the first 28 days of working with clients so they can stay motivated and encouraged. They can use the app to check in with me daily- log food, mood, exercise, weight, and chat with me right there on the platform. I love how it helps me separate business and personal life. I was getting bogged down by client texts at 9:30 on a Friday night, so this is a great way to keep everything in its place. Instead of using 4 or 5 different programs to run my business, I have one. And it’s awesome. 

What is your beauty routine? What are some of your favorite products?

 Oh hell yeah- fun question. I am an earth mama at heart and try not to put anything on my skin that I know is not good for me.

In my morning shower, I use a Rose Beldi soap that my friend gifted me. It reminds me of a Turkish spa and is great for my skin. I’ve got a full line of Kevin Murphy hair products that my sister-in-law and hair stylist insists I use because there are no harmful ingredients like phthalates or sulfates.

After my shower, I use Jason Vitamin E 25,000 IU cream on my face and body. I use Old Spice Men’s deodorant because it is stronger than the weak shit they put out there for women and I feel like I smell sexy all day long. In regular deodorant, there is no aluminum.

Thanks to my friend Sarah, most of my makeup is from Kosas. She is militant about her beauty products’ ingredients and I have benefitted from her research. On days I feel like I need a power move, I’ll apply Darkroom lipstick and prowl about my day. I wear minimal makeup. My skin is clear and usually looks fine without anything on it, thanks to a great combination of food and supplements. If I am speaking at an event or on TV or filming a video, I will go heavier on my makeup. Most days it is mascara and lipstick though.

At night, I use a trick I learned 10 years ago from - wait for it- Keeping up with the Kardashians.  To take off any makeup and clean my face at night, I use a piping hot clean washcloth and steam my face, then gently wipe off and buff my skin. It works like a charm.  I will put more Vitamin E cream on my face. Sometimes, I’ll put a layer of carrot seed oil or Le Prunier plum seed oil on my face or hands too.

How do you balance work and life?

I have four kids, a husband I adore and love spending time with, I coach school and club volleyball, teach Sunday school and host a life group at church, and am trying to build a two business while I take classes for my Master’s degree in integrative health. We love to entertain, and my husband is constantly coaching a sports team besides his fast-paced job. Writing it out feels overwhelming. Every day is packed, but I remind myself that I chose this life and I am blessed to have my family and get to pursue my passions.

I make sure I exercise, but not too much as I know now that overexercise destroys my hormone levels and causes my Epstein Barr virus to flare up. I’ve been into swimming lately because I live in the desert and it’s easy to swim in my backyard and I get a lot of great ideas while I am doing the meditative work of kicking and pulling and breathing. I can’t take my phone or computer in the pool, so swimming is a mental break for me.

I fuel myself with plenty of protein and produce. I have learned to rest when I am tired and make sleep a priority. I read for pleasure to balance my studies for work or school, and this helps refocus my brain. 

I love to cuddle with my kids and my puppy on the couch, and we will watch a movie as a family a few times a week. 

Since it’s just me at my business, and I am in the building and learning phase, I can get into the bad habit of working all the time. If I am not working at Reformed Metabolics, I am taking classes for school or researching medical mysteries for clients. It can get overwhelming to work all the time, so I set time limits for myself on projects and give myself grace. 

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/reformed_metabolics/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100017962119133&ref=bookmarks

What’s your favorite way to decompress?

I have two.

One is a great workout, and the other is a slow and luscious evening of cooking seasonal food while drinking an amazing glass of wine and lingering long into the evening with good friends, enjoying great conversation.

What do you have planned for the next six months?

I am partnering with an amazing businesswoman locally. I am creating a line of superfood powders. She will be incorporating these into her storefront’s smoothies and juices, and we will be marketing them directly to consumers. In my trial runs, they have gotten great feedback already and I am so excited to bring them to people. I love it when I hear that clients and friends are sleeping better, experiencing less anxiety and anger, and enjoying more balanced hormones.

I’ll be making headway in my Master’s program and creating four programs for eating well and balancing hormones based on the four seasons. I’ve been studying Eastern medicine as I delve into herbs and superfoods. The Eastern cultures have used food as a medicine far longer than Westerners have, and the gentle, nourishing nature of foods and herbs to support health blows my mind. I want to bring this grounding wisdom to the fast-paced, reductionistic culture that so many women in the US are a part of.

How can our readers connect with you?

You can find out about what I do at www.reformedmetabolics.com.

My Instagram is a great place to get tips and tricks on health: https://www.instagram.com/reformed_metabolics/ . I respond to DMs within 24 hours and love connecting with people in this way. 

I am on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100017962119133&ref=bookmarks

You can book a free 15-minute discovery call to discuss your chronic health concerns and autoimmune issues and see whether we are a good fit to work one-on-one here:

https://www.reformedmetabolics.com/services

"I have an intuitive nature" with Cindy Kennedy

Cindy Kennedy / Photo by Robert E. Lajoie

Cindy Kennedy / Photo by Robert E. Lajoie

Cindy Kennedy is a Family Nurse Practitioner who developed her own podcast series, Living With Lyme, centering around Lyme disease education. After her Lyme illness experience, she realized the need for an integrative approach to all chronic illnesses and started her own private practice, Pursue Wellness. Alongside her daughter, Kerah Henebery, a registered dietitian, they offer a personalize approach to each of the patients. Cindy enjoys sharing her knowledge as a speaker at Lyme conferences and support groups. www.livingwithlyme.us and www.pursuewellness.us

Can you tell our readers about your background? 

I am a board-certified family nurse practitioner with over 21 years of experience in women’s health. I had a very successful practice within an OB/GYN group before I left to start a new journey as a healthcare entrepreneur.  My podcast series was started before leaving to begin my own practice, Pursue Wellness. I was fortunate to start my nursing career in Boston, MA at Beth Israel Hospital and Brigham and Women’s.

What inspired you to start your business? 

I struggled for years to find the cause of declining health, despite seeing nearly a dozen healthcare providers. Once I finally received a Lyme diagnosis, I searched the web for more information, which was lacking credibility. Having a warm and outgoing personality it was suggested that I gather the credible education that was needed and get it out to the Lyme community. Here came the birth of Living With Lyme podcast series.

My private practice came out of educating myself through my podcast guests and studies, that proved chronic illness needs a different approach to heal.

Where is your business based? 

As a podcaster, my base is my home, however, it can be anywhere there is internet service. My practice has a video conferencing platform as well. I can reach people at their home or work.

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took? 

Both businesses were started with research, making connections, and hard work. I needed to get legal assistance for a LLC, find a producer, graphic artist, and web master. I was lucky that one led to another. For the healthcare practice, I hired a business coach to keep me on track.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business? 

I find that networking and social media has been very successful for my practice. Through the podcast subscribers and my previous GYN patients who follow me, people are able to reach out to me with questions and request care.

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? 

Lyme disease is at epidemic proportions worldwide . There are no shortages for those who have become affected by this tick-borne illness. Lyme disease warriors are notorious for searching the web for more information and experts’ protocols. I have been very fortunate to have many sought after experts to share their knowledge on the podcast. My podcast is 19 months since inception. It has been listened to in 39 countries and has been downloaded over 34,000 times.

How do you stay focused?

I have an intuitive nature. I follow my gut and listen to my power to keep me moving forward. I schedule “fun time” for needed refreshers. I have a great family and special friends who have stuck with me through my health struggles.

How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

My biggest difference has to be approaching everything with a side of humor. I never underestimate anyone’s suffering; however, a little laughter is good for the soul.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business? 

As I explained above, social media gives me the biggest reach.

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs? 

Be patient with the process and let the growth be organic. I had difficulty with remaining in the moment, but quickly learned a slow and steady course will help with not becoming overwhelmed too easily.

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why? 

I could not live without my ICD-code App for diagnostic insurance codes. I need access quickly when filling out lab slips. My favorite blog may be Aviva Romm MD. She is a big women’s health educator. I have so many resource books that I depend on that choosing one is too difficult.

What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why? 

I love Canva and Unsplash for templates and graphics to design posts and blogs.

Who is your business role model?

I have been very fortunate to have several role models. One is my husband, Joe, who always reminds me where I came from and keeps me grounded. Next is Brian Case, our financial advisor who has given me unconditional support. And lastly, Michele Miller, my trusted friend, acquired through my Lyme struggle. She has developed a large non-profit for Lyme education and treatment after losing her mother to Lyme disease.

What do you have planned for the next six months? 

I feel that over the next 6 months, I’d like to develop with Kerah, programs to educate my followers about the importance of gut health and nutrition, as this is the basis for health.

How can our readers connect with you? 

I can be reached through either of my websites as well as:

livingwithlyme.ck@gmail.com

pursuewellness.ck@gmail.com

"Managing expectations was one of my earliest challenges" with Esther Avant

Esther Avant

I caught up with Esther Avant, a certified personal trainer, nutrition, and weight loss coach who has been working in the industry since 2006. She has helped hundreds of women reach happy and healthy weights while still loving their lives. Her focus is on combining exercise, nutrition, mindset shifts, and habit formation to transform her client’s lives. She runs Esther Avant Wellness Coaching remotely and works with clients all over the world. You can find her at www.estheravant.com.

Can you tell our readers about your background?

I grew up in a small town where I was able to play on all the sports teams without being much good at them. I discovered working out in high school and loved the fact that it was something good for me that I could do without the pressure of people watching me. From there I got interested in nutrition and totally transformed my body and confidence as a teenage girl. I majored in Exercise Science at Boston University, largely because I wanted to get paid to workout. When I got my first job as a personal trainer post-college, I realized that I was spending so much time watching other people workout that I had little time for it myself! After working in a commercial gym for a while, I realized that in order to help my clients truly succeed at their weight loss goals, I needed a better background in nutrition and psychology, so I invested a lot of time and energy into certifications and knowledge in those areas.

What inspired you to start your business?

I spent about a decade working in a variety of gym settings, including commercial, corporate, private boutique, city recreation center, and more. I really honed my skills, learned a lot about working with clients, and the type of environment I wanted to be in. I also learned that I didn’t want to work for someone else. If I was going to put in time and energy on things, I wanted to do so on projects and programs that I really cared about, not ones that were just dictated for me. I knew I could have a bigger impact if I started my own business.

Where is your business based?

My entire business is online so I can work from anywhere! My husband is in the Navy so one of the primary motivators was being able to have a business that I wouldn’t have to give up every time we moved. We’re currently based in Hawaii but in the next year will be stationed in Washington, DC, and then Germany!

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

At this point, it’s hard to remember what I did in the very beginning. Probably printed off a 50-page blueprint on how to write a business plan that I didn’t need. I was stubborn for a long time and didn’t hire a business coach so a lot of what I spent time doing in the beginning wasn’t very useful. I sort of had the mentality that lots of people own successful businesses so how hard could it be? After a year or two of feeling like I was beating my head against a wall, I finally hired a business coach to help me get out of my own way.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

Social media outreach and Facebook advertising have been the best ways that I’ve raised awareness for my business. I’ve invested money in an ads manager to help me maximize my ads budget and I invest a lot of time into engaging personally with ideal clients on Facebook and Instagram.

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

Managing expectations was one of my earliest challenges. I had the “if I build it, they will come” mentality and that’s just not how it works. I had to change my mindset from expecting overnight riches to understanding that I had to play the long game if I wanted to have a viable business in 10 years.

How do you stay focused?

Staying focused is an ongoing challenge, especially now that I have a baby at home who demands a lot of my time. That said, it’s helped me with time management; if I have 2 hours to get something done, it’ll take 2 hours, but if I only have 20 minutes, I’ll get it done in 20 minutes. I remind myself that I when I’m in work mode, I need to give that & my clients my all and when I’m in Mom mode, I need to give my son my all. No one wins if I get distracted so at this point I just don’t consider any alternative to staying focused.

How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

I struggled for a long time with trying to figure out how I was different from other people in my industry. I run a personal brand; I am the face of it. I am what differentiates me. I have several peers who I respect and who have similar businesses but we appeal to different clients because of our personalities and the approaches we take. My content and programs resonate with like-minded clients who can relate to my story and outlook. I take a fun and positive approach to helping women reach a healthy & happy weight while still loving their lives. My combination of practical & scientific knowledge, level-headedness, and empathy appeals to clients who are tired of constantly dieting and being miserable.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

Facebook ads and organic social media outreach are my marketing strategies, as well as how I build awareness.

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

My best advice is to be in it for the long haul. The people whom you think are overnight successes? They’re not. You’re just only seeing the success after years of work. So be ready to put in the work and just keep going, even through the periods when you want to give up. That and to ask for help. Hire a business coach sooner, rather than later. A good one can help compress all the time it would have taken you to figure things out on your own.

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

My favorite app is Google Drive. It’s so helpful to have all of my documents available on my phone anytime I want them. I haven’t read a blog in years but in the past I’ve liked recipe blogs. My favorite work-related book is probably The One Thing because it’s been really applicable to work and life in general.

What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?

I invested in a mentorship program called Online Coach Accelerator that was the best investment I’ve made in my business. The curriculum, coaching, and other business owners in the program all contributed to making it a really impactful experience. OCA takes all the noise and streamlines exactly how a business owner should be spending their time to be as productive and successful as possible at sharing their gifts with the world.

Who is your business role model? Why?

My mentor in OCA, Rachel Bell, is probably my top business role model. She’s young, wildly successful, true to herself, and cares about her student’s successes more than just about anyone I know.

What do you have planned for the next six months?

In the next 6 months, my family will be moving 6,000 miles so I’m focusing on my current clients but not taking on any new ones until we get settled in our new home. After that, I’d like to turn my one-on-one coaching program into a group program so that I can impact the lives of many more women at a time.

I’ll also be starting a diploma program in Performance Nutrition to further my education.

How can our readers connect with you?

You can find me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/esther.avant, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/estheravantwellnesscoaching, or on my website at www.estheravant.com. If you’d like to reach out directly, you can do so at esther@estheravant.com

Q&A with RDN and Entrepreneur Monica Auslander Moreno

Monica Auslander Moreno

Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN is the founder of Essence Nutrition, a concierge group nutrition practice in Miami. She sees private clients [both kids and adults], corporate clients, and consults for various local restaurants and businesses with her signature programs she and her team perform both in office and virtually. She is the dietitian for the Miami Marlins, Soho Beach House, and Ocean Reef Resort and Club. http://www.essencenutritionmiami.com

Can you tell our readers about your background?

I’m a registered dietitian who started a private practice when I was 25 that in two years has been, thankfully, rather successful, and is now becoming a group practice and expanding to more digital/corporate pursuits. I’m born and bred in Miami – went to the  University of Florida for undergrad and FIU for my Master’s in Dietetics and Nutrition.  

What inspired you to start your business?

I felt very confined in a clinical job – I was working in a hospital as an inpatient dietitian. At that point, many of my patients were near the end or suffering from diseases that nutrition could have prevented, so I wanted to inspire folks to prioritize their health BEFORE it landed them on a ventilator with a feeding tube. Being a clinical dietitian is BOSS – you have to be razor sharp, extremely well-trained, medically, and be meticulous in your formula calculations. But I wanted to be more creative, social, and entrepreneurial.

Where is your business based?

Miami (Midtown) – but a lot of our clients do ‘virtual visits’ from all over the state. We also do speaking engagements nationwide. We now have a Spanish-speaking dietitian who can nestle in that niche!

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

Very first step was forming an LLC! (Things you don’t learn how to do in a Master’s of Science..). Then – setting up a bank account, recruiting talent to build our logo, branding, and website, finding a physical space, etc.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

Social media and word of mouth from friends/family and then clients who bring other clients. Both avenues bring in very different types of clientele, but we appreciate our diversity in our client pool!

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

Not overworking myself. I’m extremely task-oriented and feel the need to do things immediately. The first year, I was working nights, weekends, holidays – no days off! It was a major struggle to find a work-life balance. The financial costs of starting a business were also perilous – you feel like you’re hemorrhaging money. That chipped away day by day on my nerves as well. I had to remind myself that this was a process, a journey and that my only job was to do my best and take care of myself… oh, and make time to see my then boyfriend/ family/friends / feed my dog!

How do you stay focused?

I always remind myself of the end goal – create a dietitian empire! And honestly, it’s harder for me to NOT focus; I can wire in and work for hours straight and realize I haven’t blinked. It’s bizarre.

How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

We are a team of dietitians, which is pretty unique, we’re young, contemporary, fast, modern (we’re in a shared workspace with dozens of other innovators!) diligent, and don’t provide any ‘gimmicks’ – we rely on evidence-based science and a humanistic/psychosocial approach to food when we counsel. There’s no “Essence Diet”!

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

Essentially, keeping it honest and delivering what people NEED – a SUSTAINABLE, relatable plan and human being (dietitian) to transfer the knowledge and thought paradigms they need to do it. So many of our clients are on their 80th diet / cleanse / pill regimen and we are here to put a stop to the food crazy madness! So we market that – that we create honest, workable plans, and not thousand dollar “detoxes” that ultimately fail.  

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Get a mentor! Sadly, I never really had a private practice mentor so I kind of had to navigate the big bad business world on my own. It would have been so reassuring to have the support of an elder in my niche field. Oh – and try not to work 16 hours every single day because you will become PHYSICALLY ILL (oops!)

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

App – my Healthie app where my clients can log and take pictures of their meals in real time and I can instantly provide feedback. It keeps them accountable and provides me with real data we can then use to discuss in session!

Blog – My adorable dad has kept a blog about his life since 2006. It’s called ‘Dave’s Funny Crap.’ He muses about random topics and his theories on life.

Book – The Harry Potter series. Do you need an explanation?!

What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?

Virtual visits. We realize that fairly few people these days want to brave Miami traffic/parking to physically come into an office – especially when they have just a 30-minute follow-up. So we rely on a ‘virtual visit’ with HIPAA secure software for over 60% of our client base; you can do a video or phone consult with us from anywhere in the world, essentially! It’s much more convenient, practical, and then we can let our dogs make a cameo.

Who is your business role model? Why?

My dad. He started a law practice with his partner when he was a young attorney. They were hungry for business, fiercely diligent, passionate, and above all – worked with integrity in a field that is certainly not known for ‘playing nice.’ He still managed to make time to be the best dad who has ever lived to my sister and me, provided us with a beautiful life, and inspired an entrepreneurial spirit in me.

What do you have planned for the next six months?  

We’ll be launching a branded app for 24/7 contact with clients ‘on demand’ who have questions/need support but don’t want to bother with formal consults. I’ll be working more with Del Monte Fresh as their official dietitian, continue with the Marlins for the 2018 season, and will hopefully cultivate a growing clientele base for my associate dietitians.

How can our readers connect with you?

Instagram - @eatlikemonica. Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/essencenutritionmiami/

Twitter - @feedyouressence

Email: monica@essencenutritionmiami.com

Q&A with Health Expert & Entrepreneur, Melissa Eboli

Melissa Eboli

Melissa owns a healthy cooking and wellness company called Via Melissa. She is a certified nutritional chef and graduate of The Academy of Culinary Nutrition (2016). She is also a certified nutrition and wellness counselor from AFPA (2009) and a certified personal trainer through Hofstra University's continuing education program and AAPTE (2009).

Can you tell our readers about your background?

I am a New York native that grew up in the suburbs of the Bronx, in a coastal area called Throgs Neck. I also have a BS in advertising and marketing from Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

I worked in advertising/marketing for 14 years for some amazing companies including Penthouse Magazine, Virgin Mobile, and Fisher & Paykel Appliances to name a few.

When I was 29, I developed adult asthma along with food sensitivities and multiple chemical sensitivities. The silver lining here was that I was forced to do a complete 180 in my life to live a clean lifestyle and manage these new illnesses. This is when my lifelong hobby of cooking was taken to the next level and my allergen-friendly style of cooking really began.

What inspired you to start your business?

I continued to suffer from allergies coupled with chronic fatigue that was all brought on by the chronic stress I had from my job, until one day I hit a brick wall, so to say. That wall was in summer of 2016 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. That is when I had my "aha" moment and awakening which was “ life is short and you never know when curve balls will be thrown at you”.

I realized I wanted to be a health advocate to teach people how to eat clean, allergen friendly and disease preventing dishes. Weeks after her diagnosis, I gave in my resignation from selling appliances and enrolled myself into The Academy of Culinary Nutrition to begin the process of launching what is my business today. I feel I have been given a gift of being a natural recipe developer and this gift needs to be shared with as many people as possible.

Where is your business based?

My business is based out of New York. However, I travel to clients and service the metro area anywhere in a 60-90 mile distance in any direction.

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

I worked with an amazing business coach who gave me the tools and confidence needed to leap from being a 9-5’er into being my own boss. I attended a culinary program to hone in on my skills, wrote up a business plan to follow and completely re-vamped, then re-launched viaMelissa.com. In the last few months, I launched a new website called ViasKitchen.com truly portray my cooking business.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

Social media has been instrumental. I use Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as my go to apps. I also pitch the media on a regular basis and have been fortunate to have many write ups and features this year alone. I also partner with CPG companies to increase my awareness.

One brand I work closely with is Simply Beyond Spray on Herbs and Spices. I use its products in many of my dishes and develop recipes for them which are featured on its website.                

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

Though I've had a lot of media exposure, obtaining new clients is always a challenge. I’ve been fortunate with websites like Thumbtack.com where I get numerous leads on a daily basis. I also have a few B2B partners I work with. I’ve learned to be creative and resourceful.

 How do you stay focused?

I’ve always been a self-starter and most jobs I’ve had were remote positions. I know that if I’m not out there promoting myself and making new contacts the business isn’t just going to come to me. My focus is knowing the more I put into it, the more I get out of it.  As much as I work, I love what I do and most times it seldom feels like “work.”

How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

I offer cooking lessons, personal chef services, and catering. I am different because I am conscious of food allergies and special diets. I cater to the vegan community and clean eating overall. I also use organic ingredients as much as possible down to the spices.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

Online tools have been the most effective for my particular business. Being listed on websites like Thumbtack, IfOnly, and CozyMeal has truly been instrumental.  Building partnerships and relationships with companies that send me to their clients are also a large part of my business. This includes corporate wellness companies that have clients looking for healthy catering or corporate retreat companies that want a chef in their arsenal looking for cooking classes.

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up! Being your own boss is not easy, and you may not get it the first time around. Additionally, be flexible and open to ideas from others. If your initial plan isn’t working, go a different route. Being an entrepreneur is no easy feat, but if you are talented and passionate about your work, the sky is the limit!

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

I don’t really have a favorite app. The one I tend to use the most is Instagram for my social media marketing but I wouldn’t necessarily call it my favorite.

A great book I read last year was called Knockout my Suzanne Summers. She explains how many people have cured cancer naturally without big pharma and the blog I love reading it HearPreneur. I get to learn success stories of fellow entrepreneurs as well as tools, tips, and tricks of the trade from them.

What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?

I love using Wix.com! I’ve developed both of my websites with the easy-to-use platforms and I even run my blog and contact management through the site. All of their products and services are very user-friendly no matter what your skill level is.

Who is your business role model? Why?

One of my role models is Racheal Ray. I aspire to have an empire like hers one day. Books, TV, merchandise and all things culinary! I would love to be the modern day, healthy version of her.

With so many other chefs who have been on the scene, she has had and continues to have a long running career. She started off small/local and made it big!

What do you have planned for the next six months?

I am eager to carve out some time to shoot some professional quality food videos as well as work on a healthy cookbook; just figuring out the angle is the hardest part. I have a library of original recipes that I would love to share. I will also be focusing on my catering business and seeing how I can grow and staff up to start to take on larger scale events.

 How can our readers connect with you?

www.viaMelissa.com

www.viasKitchen.com

Facebook & Instagram: Organic Cooking Via Melissa 

Q&A with Inspiring Entrepreneur, Amanda Campbell

Amanda Campbell

Accredited Sports Kinesiologist Amanda Campbell founded Bend Like Bamboo in 2013, a private practice, where her team helps others rebuild their lives from illness and stress. She has dedicated her life to helping others find balance to repair and heal emotionally and physically. 

Taking a balanced approach, Amanda travels Australia, giving health and wellness seminars and speeches. She educates her audience sharing the lessons she learned along the way on her recovery from paralysis, five years after her diagnosis of MS at age 24. Motivating and inspiring others that they too can make a transformation in their life is her passion.

Amanda has now dedicated her life to helping Australians improve the way that they feel physically and emotionally whilst maximizing their nutrition. Amanda at her core believes that renewal is possible if you give your body the right environment it needs.

Can you tell our readers about your background? 

Today, I wear a few hats in my career. I am an Ambassador for MS Limited (Australia), a Sports Kinesiologist, and a Motivational Speaker.

In 2009 at age 29, I suffered a major MS attack that left me paralyzed and I was given a 50% chance of ever walking again. 

Unprepared to accept this as my fate with the odds stacked against me, I had no choice but to succeed. I learned to focus on what I wanted instead of what I was scared of. With a lot of determination and the help, doctors and a Kinesiologist, within six weeks, I stunned us all by not only walking but running again.

What inspired you to start your business? 

This prompted me to swap a fast-paced career in the fashion industry for learning all about my recovery. Having become an accredited Sports Kinesiologist, I founded Bend Like Bamboo, my private practice in 2013, where I have dedicated my life to helping others rebuild their lives from illness and stress. Bend Like Bamboo specializes in autoimmune disease and the emotional links to disease and physical stress.

Where is your business based?

Glen Iris, Melbourne 

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

After studying for a few years, I saw clients and slowly started to understand that I had value to offer helping others with Autoimmune Diseases. Sharing all the lessons I learned along the way, learning how to walk again, optimizing my nutrition, unpacking subconscious stress, and doing a literal mind-body reset, I started to see that my clients were getting fantastic results, too.

I opened Bend Like Bamboo in 2013 and a year later I had another amazing opportunity to start another company. I co-founded Nourissh www.nourissh.com with my partner and VinoMofo in 2014, delivering ready-made meals to people across Melbourne.

Taking a balanced approach, I believe that nourishing our bodies on a cellular level, understanding our minds, and connecting with ourselves again, gives the best chance of recovery and living a happy, fulfilling life.

My cookbook (out soon) includes recipes that include optimal macro and micro nutrients that have been studied, backed by science, to nourish the body on a cellular level improving the brain, gut, and cellular health. As a result, you are giving your mind and body the best chance to repair, reorganize and thrive again.

Looking back I think the key ingredient is really believing in yourself.

Because I was so passionate about my results, I just had to share it with as many people as possible. I felt so much better, my MS Symptoms subsided, some that were really debilitating. 

I saw a pattern as I started to get busier and busier and now work with other Autoimmune diseases, anxiety, stress, and any setback in life. 

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business? 

We are still learning and tweaking, but Facebook has been great for us. I find videos are great too..

I am also a Speaker. This all started at my volunteer role with MS Australia (Limited) about 7 years ago.

I became an MS ambassador and started speaking at events of them helping to raise awareness by sharing my story of recovery.

In my latest project, I share my work of mind-body connection with a balanced eastern/western approach. In speeches, I cover the three pillars I live by of eating better, feeling better leading to connection, and believing in yourself. 

By doing so has not only changed the course of my disease but have also achieved a reset of my mind and body.

I also speak at events and businesses to educate and inspire others that they too can make a transformation in their life. 

At my core, I believe that renewal can be possible when you give your body the right environment it needs.

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? 

Maintaining a balanced life whilst working so hard! You have to schedule it in and walk your talk. That is why I love my job as it forces me to be accountable. I cannot work with clients unless I feel well!

In 2014, my business boomed at Bend Like Bamboo and it was a new career for me.

Pete Evans shared my page and my diary was booked out for 6 months in advance, that continued for years.

I am so grateful as I started to see so many clients from all over the world that flew in. It made me the practitioner I am today.

When I started Nourissh in 2014, it was so hectic! But I had a few Sports Kinesiologists step in and see most of my clients for me at my Practice.

I can now see how I can expand Bend like Bamboo, more specifically, mentoring Kinesiologists.

How do you stay focused?

I have a review hour on Mondays and Fridays where I work on admin tasks, and other business activities. 

How do you differentiate your business from the competition? 

My clients often say they love to see me as I have been through it. I have been to the other side and back. I understand their symptoms and what they are going through first hand.

Moving forward at Bend lIke Bamboo, I want to take advantage of technology to scale the business. I want to reach broader markets with our online courses. There are many other businesses doing this.  

Perhaps it is my story that helps to explain the benefits of Kinesiology that inspire people to make a change in their life?

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business? 

Facebook and videos that communicate what I do, why I do it, and how I can help you.

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs? 

Believe in yourself. Know your why and just go for it with an open heart and people will connect with you.

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

I read a great book last month called The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi. I highly recommend as it proposes that we are not a product of cause and effect, but rather, we can change our mind and life regardless of what happened.

I do love Daily Om for inspiration and Chronic Entrepreneur for other news. 

I love the Buddhify meditation app for meditating on the fly.                                                                                                                                                                                       What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?

Trello - helps you be organized

Who is your business role model? Why? 

I love any business that has a balance of achieving great things, doing good in the world and inevitably helping people. 

Though producing profit is important as it allows you to help more people, what a person or business does with their success is inspiring to me.

What do you have planned for the next six months? 

www.amandacampbell.com.au is launching a 5-week online course for people who can't get to Bend it Like Bamboo. 

I also have a cookbook and a second book about my journey coming out so I am working pretty hard on those 3 projects whilst seeing clients at the practice.

How can our readers connect with you? 

www.amandacampbell.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandacampbellspeaker

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/amanda_campbell_health/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmandaC_health

www.bendlikebamboo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BendLikeBamboo

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/bendlikebamboo/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandacampbellau

Q & A with Wellness Coach, Helen Hayes

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Helen Hayes is a Traditional Acupuncturist and Wellness Coach and runs retreats specializing in women’s health and stress management. Having
come from the corporate world, her mission now is to help ambitious women thrive in business without compromising their health and well-being and paying the price of burnout

Can you tell our readers about your background?

After my first degree in Economics and Spanish, I started on a career path in the City of London working in Corporate and Financial PR. My very first office was opposite the Bank of England which was quite something for a brand new grad!

My career originally developed in Business-to-Business Public Relations and I largely worked on international campaigns with teams from across the globe, which was great for me as I love travel. I particularly enjoyed running the press trips and even took a group of journalists to Silicon Valley. After the long hours and intensity of PR agency life, I decided to freelance and focused on supporting start-ups with their PR and marketing and in particular, women in business.

I have always been interested in health so, in my late 20s, I took myself back to university to study Traditional Chinese Medicine.  I have been running acupuncture clinics and specializing in female health for well over ten years now, and recently I have expanded my business offering. I now support women in business in a different way – to help them gainbetter health, greater work life balance, overcome stress, and stay on top of their game. I run retreats for women and work with women 1:1 on developing and implementing their own personal wellness plans.

What inspired you to start your business?

This one is simple – I wanted there to be more support for ambitious women to thrive in business without compromising their health and well-being and paying the price of burnout. 

Where is your business based?

I live in the Forest of Dean in the UK, and I currently run retreats within the UK and it’s only a matter of time before I will take those abroad! My wellness coaching can be online though, so I guess there’s no set location for that part of my business - I find connecting with and helping women from around the world totally inspiring - I absolutely love what I do!

How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?

When I first qualified in Traditional Acupuncture, I had to blend that work with my freelance PR work for a couple of years so it wasn’t a quick or easy career change.  I then moved across the country from East to West, so had to start building a client base from scratch all over again. Only two years in, I was amazed how much of my work as a therapist came from word of mouth but that does mean you have to put a lot of time in initially to promote a brand new practice.  I started www.balanceretreat.com this year as an extension of my practice so it is still very much my new “baby.”

I have always loved organizing and running events so offering retreats has always been at the back of my mind.  I have also been studying day and night to further develop my wellness coaching skills. Other first steps have mainly been based around networking as I am also developing corporate wellness services, so for that I needed to find a team of qualified healthcare experts and business customers!

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?

In the past, the most effective way for me has been word of mouth and the one-on-one meetings and interactions I have with people.  I’ve learnt that it is very true that “people buy from people” especially when it comes to investing in your own healthcare. Trust is paramount.

More recently, Facebook has served me really well.  Running well-being workshops have also been a good awareness raiser too – although this is all very much based around my local market.  Now I have to convert all this to the online world to reach a greater audience of women for my new offerings!

What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

At one point I had 4 jobs – as a single mother, I took on whatever work I could fit in to the week for financial reasons, so I found myself running clinics as well as freelancing in PR.  As a result, I lost focus on the part of my business that I loved and I began to worry that I was losing my passion! The reality was I was just spreading myself way too thinly. I overcame this by seeking help from a variety of wonderful coaches and soon regained my passion and clarity. Now I just focus my work on what I love doing.

How do you stay focused?

Self-care is at the heart of what I do for a living and without “practicing what I preach” I would not be able to stay focused.  Having a self-care routine keeps me on track in all the other areas of my life.

How do you differentiate your business from the competition?

My approach to wellness is underpinned by the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine and I absolutely love blending East and West and the ancient with the modern.  I have developed my own form of wellness coaching for women that fits this model too. I suppose it’s different as my business is a reflection of my own unique set of skills, knowledge and experience.

What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?

To date, it has probably been nurturing and developing existing customers as word of mouth was so important to my acupuncture clinic. 

More recently though and certainly for my new business, I think it has to be putting the time and investment in to developing a brand identity that is aligned with my target audience and creating a professional looking website.

What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Keep focused and prioritize self-care: get solid on your values, your needs, and your strengths and keep them in mind in everything you do. Stay healthy.

What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?

App – my podcast app without a doubt!

Blog – I don’t have one favorite as I jump around from business blogs to wellness blogs all the time.

Book – Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela – changed my entire outlook on what is possible when I read it in my 20s.

What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?

Evernote – helps be to keep things organized.

Who is your business role model? Why?

It probably has to be J K Rowling (Harry Potter) as despite her own personal challenges she followed her passion and the rest, as they say, is history!

What do you have planned for the next six months?

Networking and working on new retreats. I am also currently pulling together a team of therapists to launch my new corporate wellness services.

How can our readers connect with you?

www.balanceretreat.com

https://www.facebook.com/balanceretreatforwomen/

https://twitter.com/BalanceRetreat