Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Cynthia Libert, Founder of Caring for the Body, PLLC., located in Asheville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a functional medicine physician in private practice in Asheville, North Carolina, where I consult with patients in-person and via telemedicine. My passion is helping people prevent and reverse risk factors for chronic disease, transform their health and reach their full potential. I work with people of all ages, adults, adolescents, and children. My special interests are in medical weight loss and the prevention and reversal of cognitive decline. The work of optimizing brain and body function involves attending to nutrition, physical fitness, the gut microbiome, cardiometabolic health, and supporting detoxification, as well as thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormone balance. It's a whole-body, integrative holistic approach.
Sadly, early in my career, my experience as a working mother in the dysfunctional healthcare system nearly destroyed my health. I was able to come back from the brink of burnout, discern the root causes of my illness, and ultimately restore my health through spiritual connection and the sacred path of self-care. I am passionate about sharing these hard-won lessons with other women. To this end, I created The Joy Prescription, a membership community for Christian women leaders in the fields of ministry and medicine. Our mission is to equip one another with the knowledge, practical tools, and loving, grace-filled support we need to flourish in all spheres of our lives and callings.
Tell us about yourself
I knew I wanted to be a doctor when I was in the first grade. After devoting 24+ years of formal education and training as a young physician, I became disillusioned with the quick visits and pharmaceutical focus that happens inside the insurance-based system. In an attempt to revive my love for practicing medicine, I began exploring nutrition, lifestyle, and integrative approaches to healing. When I started coaching patients to shift their habits and mindset and prescribing nutritional and herbal therapies, they actually started to get better!
Unfortunately, the conventional healthcare system does not reward doctors who take the time to educate patients. Attempting to help patients inside the system became increasingly difficult, and I knew my patients deserved better. I took a leap of faith and went into business for myself. I now have the privilege of spending unhurried time with people, listening to their stories, and helping them come up with creative solutions for their complex, chronic health problems. This is my reward, and it motivates me to get up in the morning.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm grateful that I was able to successfully leap out of the conventional medical system and create a sacred space for people to heal. It’s my calling, and my practice brings me tremendous joy. I’m also proud of our budding nonprofit organization, Women in Ministry & Medicine, Inc. Our mission is to expand access to holistic, natural healthcare and education to people around the globe, with a special focus on women and those with low income or financial hardship. I am now able to pay it forward by offering wellness education, retreats, and holistic medical business coaching for women to help them shortcut their path to successful private practice.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Balancing work and family life: Starting and running a business can be demanding, and it can be tough to find a balance between work and family life. This can be particularly challenging for women who are often expected to fulfill traditional gender roles as caregivers and homemakers, in addition to being successful entrepreneurs.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Recognize that YOU, as the business owner, are your greatest asset. It is vital to take care of your own health. What does that look like for you? I’m not talking about becoming a health nut, obsessing over our physical appearance, or working out so much that you neglect other areas of your life. I’m talking about getting adequate rest, sleep, and downtime, choosing the most nutritious foods available, physical exercise to the best of our abilities, and cultivating a positive mindset and healthy spiritual life.
We can also dive deeper and talk about using the latest scientific breakthroughs and applying the principles of nutrigenomics, which is the science of how nutrition affects the expression of our genes. We can also learn about healing foods and herbal remedies that have been used with success for millennia. There is a whole art and science to self-care, and it’s vitally important, not just for selfish reasons, but for the health of our human family and planet.
- Find a mentor. A mentor can help you avoid costly mistakes and help you navigate your entrepreneurial journey with more ease and greater success. Having a mentor can provide you with the critical guidance, support, and accountability you need to succeed. Mentors can help you navigate challenges, build your networks, and learn new skills, all of which are essential to growing a successful business.
- Find a tribe. Starting and running a business can be challenging and isolating, particularly for women who may face unique challenges such as gender bias, discrimination, or imposter syndrome. Being part of a community of business owners can provide emotional support, encouragement, and motivation to keep going through tough times.
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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