Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christine Garvin, a Functional Nutritionist based in Asheville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a Functional Nutritionist, focusing on women (though I do work with men, too!) and their hormones and gut health. My goal is to empower women to understand their bodies, their menstrual cycles, perimenopause, and beyond. Because when we connect to and listen to our bodies, everything else flows more smoothly in our lives, and we are able to find true pleasure every day.
Tell us about yourself
I nearly died after a myomectomy (fibroid removal surgery) when the surgeon unknowingly burned me in 3 places in my intestines. Two weeks later, I landed in the ER on my death bed with sepsis. Although I had spent much of my 20s focused on health and healing, obtaining my Masters in Holistic Health Education and Nutrition Certification, I had been a professional dancer for most of my 30s. This surgery mishap ended my dance career but led me back to health and wellness. I decided I needed to learn as much as I could about fibroids, women's hormones, and gut health since I had to put my gut back together again after losing half my colon and having a temporary ostomy bag due to the surgical burns. That led me to a hormone apprenticeship and training in the functional gut and hormone testing. I return to this traumatic experience every day to propel me forward in my work with women to understand their hormones, so they won't need to face the same kind of experience I did.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The little notes that I get on a daily or weekly basis from either a client whose migraines are gone after ten years of having them, a woman who has regained her sense of vitality because she's sleeping again, or even when someone lets me know they are having consistently great bowel movements, all because of something we've worked on together or that I've recommended. Helping people get back their health and vitality is the greatest gift.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I've run my own businesses for over a decade now. I can tell you that as a business owner, you will face all the personal trials and tribulations that you had no idea would show up in your work world. Your business is your baby, and it will trigger you, provide immense joy, followed by immense heartache, push you in all the ways you don't want to be pushed, exhaust you, and bring you back to yourself again and again. Be prepared for the unexpected at EVERY level of your business!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If I had it to do over again, I would 100% get a business loan right off the bat and hire at least 2-3 people who know what they are doing to help you. And in my opinion, that's someone to help do your marketing/social media, someone to make sure you get the finances in order, and a virtual assistant who can do at least some of the mundane while you work on getting out there and selling.
- Get into a mastermind or business support group to talk through the tough stuff as it comes up and to stay motivated.
- Take care of yourself in the process. So many of us burn out and crash in the first 3 years of a business because we don't set boundaries and do the self-care portion. It's not worth it to over-extend or run yourself ragged!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
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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