Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Beth Nanson, a registered dietitian based in Vancouver, BC, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I work primarily in the IBS & Digestive Health field. This means my customers are usually those experiencing gut distress or IBS symptoms and are looking for long-term relief. The key here is a LONG term... no quick fixes and unsustainable changes, but digging to find the root cause of the clients' symptoms and solving the problem from there. If clients are willing to do the work, we can make incredible changes to their lives through food and lifestyle adjustments.
Tell us about yourself
I'm from the Sunshine Coast, Gibsons, BC. I went to UBC for my Dietetic education, and I was driven in a few areas of nutrition, mostly gut health, sports nutrition, and prenatal nutrition. I did work in all these areas before I got more focused on gut health. I now work in a multidisciplinary IBS clinic and run a private IBS & Gut health practice. And surprise! I actually experienced gut symptoms myself! I also have always had a keen interest in gut health - our gut microbiome and its role in our health are absolutely fascinating to me. Even if someone doesn't have daily uncomfortable IBS symptoms, they may still benefit from optimizing their gut microbiome to give benefits outside of the gut: immune health, mood, and skin health, to name a few. We also are now seeing our gut microbiome is linked to multiple chronic diseases, so it's extremely beneficial to make it as resilient as we can through food and lifestyle changes.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating two online self-paced gut courses:
- The Ultimate IBS Relief Program
- Beat the Bloat mini-course
Both include video tutorials, downloadable resources, and quizzes to ensure the client absorbs all the material. They are very hands-on and walk the client through the exact steps to find symptom relief. I made them self-paced so that there was no obligation or stress with creating 1:1 sessions, and the client could complete the course within the limits of their own schedule.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Work-life balance! I struggle with this a lot. I will end up checking emails on weekends, seeing clients after dinner, and ultimately limiting other things I enjoy in my life if I don't create firm boundaries with myself. It's really important to set boundaries on your workdays to ensure you aren't giving up important things in your life.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start even when you don't think you are ready. You will never feel 100% ready, and the sooner you start, the sooner you can tackle all the learning curves that come along with running your own business.
- Niche down to the area(s) you are really driven in. I say this because that way, even if you don't get a ton of clients right away, you are learning about topics you care about and find interest in regardless of the benefit of having a certain number of clients.
- Set firm boundaries BEFORE you start. Days you will work, time frames you will take clients in, when you will log off and stop checking emails for the day, etc. Don't be like me and create these as you go! Start early by considering the boundaries you want to set.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Get connected to other private practices RDs to bounce ideas off each other and to have a sounding board if you need it! We've likely all run into similar problems while building our business, so don't be afraid to reach out! :)
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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