Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Azita Papaie, owner of Azita Papaie Physio, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a physiotherapist and owner of Azita Physio. I have a holistic approach to musculoskeletal pain and pelvic problems, both in men and women in the whole spectrum of their life from puberty to fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause. The biopsychosocial model stresses treating people as a whole and considering every person unique in their life situation. With my extensive training and experience, I can find the relation between ankle pain and inguinal hernia, chronic neck pain and tight scar of cesarean delivery of 32 years, diverticulitis and knee pain, coccyx injury, and scoliosis, IBS and chronic headaches.
Some basic nutrition and stress management advice can make a huge difference in people’s tangled lives. When the advice comes in a friendly discussion and collective conclusion, both parties will be happy. The client will achieve their goals, and I will achieve the satisfaction of having another successful collaboration.
Tell us about yourself
After graduating from university, I did what I was recommended to do. I found a job in a hospital to gain some experience. Since that was a part-time position, I found another part-time job in a private clinic. That gave me the chance to gain experience in both those environments. After a couple of years of hard and long work hours, I paid my student loan. It was time to focus on my family. Returning from maternity leave to my part-time position at the hospital was not difficult but competing with 28 other more senior therapists over holidays and vacations was an impossible challenge. The inflexibility of work hours and duration of breaks was another issue.
To maintain my family’s and my own quality of life, I decided to quit working at the hospital and start my own business. In the beginning, I did not have many clients. I worked part-time positions in private clinics as an independent consultant, and I chose my work hours. Until baby number 2 graduated from primary school, I was the volunteer mom at every event, outing, and committee. When the kids became more independent in high school, I started my full-time position in my own clinic.
I love my profession, and I love helping people. Every day, I cannot wait to see every one of my clients to hear their stories about how they felt after the previous session. What helped them and what did not. What technique did I use that gave the best result, and if not, what other direction could our treatment take. What challenges the new client is going to bring me. What their story is going to be like. I feel like Sherlock Holmes trying to solve the musculoskeletal, psychological, sociological, and hormonal...complications of fellow human beings. Give them the best advice I can to guide them through their journey of finding satisfaction with their path in life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Learning about business development and advertising was a major eye-opener. It was a long and slow process that required fundamental changes in my thought process and way of life. When it finally settled down, I felt professionally secure and powerful. I could envision the steps of my business development. It is still necessary to be flexible and make adjustments at every step, but the fundamental knowledge is empowering.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are many hard things about being a business owner! Remembering that there are only 24 hours in a day, learning to say no, delegating, and choosing between projects or offers of collaboration/research/products.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find collaborators that are aligned with your company's vision and values.
- The sky is the limit to creativity and innovations in business possibilities! Do not hold yourself back if you have a crazy idea. Put it to work and let it evolve.
- Find new technologies and tools to help automate tasks. In doing so, you can spend more of your time and resources on what you like.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Life is short. Do not overwhelm yourself with work. Keep time for sport and exercise to maintain your health. Take time off from work. In my profession, there are high seasons and low seasons. Over the years, I have learned to work hard during the high season and take longer breaks during the low season. That is how I keep my life balanced.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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