Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in nutrition but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kathlyn Carney based in Dallas, Texas.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Kathlyn Carney, and I am a 25-year-old Nutrition Education graduate student living and eating my way through Dallas, TX.
Through various experiences with my friends and family, I have fallen in love with learning about the healing properties of food and how to make delicious, healthy meals. My mom, Gail, has tried to instill healthy eating habits in me throughout my entire life. She always purchased organic and grass-fed foods, never allowed sodas or other name-brand snacks in our house and emphasized the need to eat a balanced diet.
My dad, Joe, also encouraged me to be healthy by engaging in sports. Throughout my entire childhood, I was a 3-5 sport athlete; I played basketball, soccer, field hockey, and I ran track and cross country. Because my parents set up systems for me to eat healthy and exercise, I was completely clueless when I went to college and I was no longer on a sports team or eating the meals my parents provided me. I also chose to indulge in all the foods that my parents never let me eat, like McDonalds McnNuggets, Cheez-its, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and all the other fast food and snacks that the magical land of college has to offer.
Because of my lack of routine and good choices, I gained about 25 pounds throughout my four years in college. Not only did I gain weight, but I also was frequently getting sick. My junior and senior years of college, I always had a cold, got eye infections and urinary tract infections often, and had to drink a lot of caffeine to get through the day.
This was extremely different from how I felt before college. I rarely got sick, never dealt with infections, and never needed caffeine to have energy. I quickly realized after I graduated and moved to Dallas, Texas to teach as a Teach for America Corps member that I needed to change my diet and lifestyle habits. However, I was extremely busy teaching 150 students, in a subject that I had never taught before, in a career that I only had a summer’s worth of training.
It was not until my best friend from high school was diagnosed with a rare cancer caused by an autoimmune disease that I realized I needed to make health a priority, even if it didn’t fit perfectly into my schedule.
When my best friend was diagnosed and decided to receive chemotherapy, I researched the best foods to fight cancer. I created a Google doc that had a long list of foods that have been found to prevent or fight cancer. This was my first step in learning about the power of food. Around the same time, my mom and my former roommate from college started to read a book by Anthony William, or the Medical Medium.
Anthony William explained that people who experience mystery illnesses like acne or autoimmune disease should stop eating certain foods. I had chronic acne growing up and went on Accutane my junior year of high school to get rid of the pesky bumps on my face, and my friend was suffering from an autoimmune disease.
Because of these two factors, I decided to read what this Medical Medium had to say. He wrote that people experiencing any type of illness should not eat gluten, canola oil, corn, eggs, dairy, soy, processed beet sugar, pork, farmed fish, MSG, natural flavors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and citric acid. I decided that I would do my best to eliminate these foods, and my friend did the same.
And the results were shocking. I lost 15 pounds in 3 months. I had enough energy to get me through the day that I was able to stop drinking caffeine completely. I even had enough energy to meal prep and go to the gym a few times per week. My mood and my skin improved. My friend also saw some shrinkage in her tumor after increasing her intake of whole foods and decreasing her intake of processed foods.
After seeing these results, I realized how crucial nutrition was to our health and that what we choose to put in our bodies matters. Our experience inspired me to write and publish a book titled "We Can’t Change What We Don’t Know – How I Started to Think of Food as Medicine" in 2019 and went back to school for Nutrition Education in 2020.
I have read dozens of books, attended many summits and conferences, and interviewed over 40 professionals in the health and wellness field about the importance of our diet and lifestyle choices. I am on a mission to help others look and feel their best through making positive dietary changes and improving lifestyle habits. Check out my book, articles, and social media sites to learn more and be on the lookout for season 1 of my audio show, Connecting the Dots!
I have a passion for finding recipes for delicious and nutritious foods and restaurants that serve clean, mouth-watering meals. I love hosting dinner parties and showing my friends and family that eating healthy can and should be delicious in my spare time. I also love taking workout classes with friends like Zumba, yoga, and spin. Join me on my journey to make diet, exercise, and wellness simple and enjoyable!
What's your business and who are your customers?
I am starting to build my wellness brand under my name, Kathlyn Carney. In 2019, I wrote a book titled "We Can't Change What We Don't Know - How I Started to Think of Food as Medicine," after I watched two of my close friends and my mother battle chronic illness.
After the success of my book, I decided to change careers and go back to school for Nutrition Education. This year, I have built my website, recorded season 1 of my podcast Connecting the Dots, and began developing wellness resources to sell on my website, www.kathlyncarney.com.
My goal is to continue to grow and give women ages 18-40, or anyone interested, the resources that they need to live full and healthy lives. I want to empower and educate women on diet, exercise, meditation, and so many more holistic practices so that they do not have to go through what my two friends and mom did.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
So far, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner was raising enough money in pre-sales and sponsorships to pay for the editors and producers of my podcast, Connecting the Dots. It was not easy to get people to believe in me and my mission because I don't have 10,000 followers, and I am still a graduate student. It was empowering to have people support me and want to invest in their own health.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me personally, the hardest thing as a business owner has been pricing my goods and services. As a health advocate with an equity mindset, I want everyone to have access to my book, podcast, and services. However, I still need to have an income. It has been difficult to come up with prices that I feel good about and that speak to the hours of work that I put into my products and services.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1) Start small and don't rush. You might have the best idea in the world, but it will take baby steps to get there. Do the small things right, and do them well, and you will be able to bring your idea to fruition.
2) Ask for help from experts and people that you trust when you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed.
3) Remember your why behind your business when you hit a bump in the road. Your why will motivate you and help you to problem solve.
Where can people find you online?
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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