Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin Walker, owner of Boston Integrated Health, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
As a Licensed Acupuncturist, I started Boston Integrated Health 10 years ago in an effort to bring multiple specialties together in a wellness center focused on holistic mind/body health.
Tell us about yourself
Like so many, my path wasn't a straight line! I started my career on the corporate side of medicine in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. While I valued that experience, I ultimately knew I wanted to be playing a different role in medicine. After a fair bit ( well, really a lot!) of soul searching, I landed at The New England School of Acupuncture. I knew I had found my home. I love the lens through which Chinese Medicine looks at the human body. I appreciate how it connects systems (and symptoms) that might not be connected in Western medicine. By treating each person with this holistic view, we can often achieve results in many aspects of well-being.
As I studied, I developed a special interest in women's health, fertility, and perinatal care. After several years of practice, I faced my own infertility challenges. The experience cemented my commitment to working with this community. I know the pain of wanting a child and struggling to achieve that goal. My greatest joy is now supporting others (men and women) with my medicine to ease the path to parenthood. In addition to practicing Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs, I also trained at the Arvigo® Institute to learn how to provide abdominal massage. This powerful technique can aid in a variety of menstrual/pelvic issues that may cause pain and exacerbate fertility challenges.
Additionally, I volunteer for Resolve New England. This organization supports couples struggling with fertility by offering education, resources, and advocacy. I lead a monthly support group open to anyone who is looking to gain a connection with others on a similar journey. That has been particularly rewarding. I'm passionate about what I do and love helping people enhance their overall health and meet their personal health goals.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think I have to say that I've been in business for so long now! I have been practicing for over 15 years. Certainly, navigating the pandemic these past two years has been particularly challenging. I'm proud of how I've managed to keep the business running so that we can continue to offer care to so many people who are looking for it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It definitely has to be the need to wear multiple hats. In addition to the work of practicing acupuncture and caring for people, the back-end part of running the business can be challenging. While in acupuncture school, I didn't fully appreciate the other roles I would have to learn (or learn how to delegate) like accountant, marketer, office manager, etc. There are times running the business can feel lonely, but I value that I have surrounded myself with other professionals who I respect and learn from every day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Seek out others with experience whom you admire and learn from them. Everyone needs a mentor!
- Surround yourself with good, like-minded people if you can. Even if you are a sole owner, connect with other entrepreneurs who help inspire you. Find qualified people to delegate to for the work that isn't your strength (or your joy).
- Proactively create (and stick to) a self-care routine. Starting a business can be all-consuming. Recognize that you need some kind of balance to keep you headed in the right direction. Figure out what self-care works for you and build it into the schedule.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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