Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Jacobsen, Founder of Be Well for Good, LLC., located in Fairfield, CT, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a Functional Nutrition Practitioner. I help entrepreneurs, and small business owners fix their fatigue to be more productive in their businesses and still have a personal life.

Tell us about yourself

I led a global organization within a large pharmaceutical company for fifteen years. There was constant pressure to deliver results, continue to develop high-performing teams, and manage suppliers to provide excellent service while pushing them to 90-day payment terms.

On the one hand, my "customers" were those in the C-Suite and heads of global markets. And on the other hand, my "customers" were the doctors that prescribed our drugs. (not to mention the customers who bought the drugs). Both sets of customers had high demands, and there was no hiding. By all accounts, in business and in my career, I was successful. But there was a cost.

And then, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I left my job to care for him during his treatments and needed to step in to keep his business going until he got better. At that point, I had to be successful as that was our only source of income.

Fortunately, I was successful. But there was a cost. You see, during all those years, I just kept pushing myself... In business... In taking care of my husband and our daughter... Being involved in our community. Honestly, it seemed normal because so many people I knew seemed to be in the same boat. It’s common, but it’s not normal.

Once my husband got better, he returned to the business, and we continued to work together. Luckily, we got along as business partners and started to launch a second company together. As I kept pushing myself, I became more and more exhausted. It got to the point where I had to force myself to get up in time to get our daughter fed and off to school, but then I would immediately crawl back into bed with my laptop. I stopped going into the office with my husband. This was not normal.

The situation was starting to take its toll on our business because I couldn't meet with customers, and my husband was running out of excuses to make to them. From bed, I developed the business plan and lined up meetings with potential investors for the new company.

The actual "aha moment" came when I was too exhausted to meet with any of the potential investors, leaving my husband to handle even more of the workload. I had become a liability to our business. I had no other choice but to step away from the company.

I was concerned about my health a few years before my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I was getting sick a lot, often had pains in my stomach, and was exhausted all the time. I feared there must be something wrong with me. So, I decided to seek help.

But all I got was the same refrain: "Ms. Jacobsen, your labs are normal. There’s nothing wrong with you. Do you exercise? " One doctor asked. You work long hours and travel a lot. "This is common," muttered another doctor. A third doctor told me these are "just signs of getting old and suggested I take a multivitamin." I was 38 at that time and felt doomed.

I started by reading all kinds of health books. So to try and figure things out for myself, symptom questionnaires led me to self-diagnosis after self-diagnosis. Oh, yes, those symptoms fit me; I must have "adrenal fatigue." And then another book. Oh, wait, now I think my issues stem from gluten intolerance. From an online quiz, I was optimistic that my problems would all be solved if I cut out sugar, gluten, and dairy, balanced my hormones, and tamed my estrogen dominance. I bought more books. And, of course, each book had supplement and diet recommendations, and I followed them to a tee.

I juiced. I fasted. I tried the raw diet, the Paleo diet, and the bone broth diet. Keto wasn’t around at the time, or I would have tried that too. Whenever I thought I had my "solution," my husband would cheer me on. (If he thought I was nuts, he never let on.)

Did I start to feel a little better? A bit. Had I solved my adrenal fatigue? Nope. Was I really estrogen dominant? Not sure. Did going sugar, gluten, and dairy-free help? Somewhat and, of course, as I was not getting to the bottom of what was driving my exhaustion, I found myself bedridden and unable to work. I decided to figure things out for myself and began training in applied functional medicine.

Functional Medicine takes a different approach to our bodies and health. It’s about understanding that symptoms are not meant to be squashed but rather used as a guide to the root cause of your ailment or disease. And often, that root cause is located far from the symptoms. For example, achy joints can be caused by certain foods you eat and an overgrowth of the wrong kind of pathogen in your gut.

This approach made so much sense to me because it’s not the wait-and-see approach of conventional medicine. Traditional medical doctors are trained to look for a disease when it reaches the clinical state when your lab results are out of range.

The medical profession considers a lab’s reference range the "normal range." The reference range is based on the average population serviced by that lab. And the average population is not healthy. That’s why my results could be "within range," but I was still experiencing symptoms, not feeling like myself, and why my doctors saw nothing wrong with me.

And now, as a certified Functional Nutrition Practitioner, I help men and women save hundreds or thousands of dollars in unwanted co-pays, prescriptions, and procedures by teaching them how to use diet and lifestyle modifications as their first line of defense. My method of investigating the underlying causes of symptoms uncovers paths to overcoming fatigue, hormonal imbalances, stubborn weight, and other lifestyle diseases.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Helping clients go from feeling crappy to feeling happy. I have worked with many business owners who either can't work because of their health issues or don't perform as productively as they want because of their constant fatigue and other symptoms.

Clients telling me that they re-start their business again is thrilling. Clients telling me they have more energy and presence of mind to be with their family after work is enormous. Clients tell me that their spouse has noticed that the sparkle back in their eyes is above rewarding.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Understanding that "marketing" isn't a wrong or sleazy word, but rather about educating your ideal customer about what you do, your area of expertise, and the root causes that keep them feeling the way they do.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. First, you must understand your unique selling position—what makes YOU different from your competition?
  2. Second, learn as much as possible about marketing yourself (e.g., read good books on marketing and follow successful digital marketing experts).
  3. Third, get crystal clear on who you serve. Be O.K. with not saying "yes" to everyone who knocks on your [virtual] door if they are not a good fit, because that can be an energy drain and detract from an ideal client.

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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