Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alex Gardner, Executive Director of Alex Gardner Nutrition LLC., located in Knoxville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Consultant who helps mamas nourish their bodies so they can have more energy, deliver a healthy baby, and recover faster postpartum without feeling overwhelmed. I help mamas who are preconception, pregnant, or postpartum all over the country via my signature telehealth program, the Mommy & Me Nutrition Care Program.
Tell us about yourself
Going through my education to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I knew I wanted to educate people so that they could make the best decisions for their health and nutrition. It wasn't until I spent a few months working for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program during my internship that I realized my passion for working with moms and babies. I know our traditional healthcare system, and I worked in it for many years. And I know that it's hard for people, especially pregnant women, to navigate this system, get the utmost care, and not feel overwhelmed. So the day after I passed my credentialing exam, I started Alex Gardner Nutrition, LLC. I wanted to make an actual impact in the lives of these women and their children in a meaningful way. Getting messages from clients saying, "I seriously don't know what I'd do without you," or telling me they hit one of their weekly goals to nourish themselves and their little ones is what keeps me going. We know that what moms do (and do not) put in their bodies before and during pregnancy has a direct impact on the lifetime health of their children. So knowing that what I'm doing is having a direct effect on the lifetime health of a little one is extremely motivating.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was actually taking the step and starting as soon as I was credentialed. Many people, especially dietitians, have this dream of starting a private practice "in the future," but the days, weeks, months, and years are going to go by whether you actually take steps to start your business or not. It's better to take imperfect action than perfect inaction because then things actually get done. If you keep saying "one day" or waiting until the "perfect time" to start, that day will never come.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is knowing that if you aren't doing the work, especially in the beginning, things are not going to get done. I see a direct correlation between the amount of work and effort I put into my business and the outcomes I see. Now I'm not saying you can't take the weekend off or go on vacation, but you have to be dedicated and stick to actually working on your business to see results, and sometimes, it takes a while to see those results.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- My top tip for anyone looking to start a business is to JUST DO IT! Right now, take the first step and start your business because if you keep putting it off, it will never happen.
- Don't get discouraged if it takes several months for you to start seeing the results of your hard work. Something I've noticed is what I had done three months ago is showing up today, which means what I'm doing today will show up three months from now.
- Invest in a business coach that works with people like you. My business did not take off until I had the right guidance. I was taught how to be a dietitian in school, not how to run a business. So make that investment because it pays off.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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