Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katie Horrell, MS, RDN, CPT, Founder of Dark Blue Nutrition, located in Evergreen, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm a Dietitian Nutritionist, and my business is Dark Blue Nutrition. My business is a hybrid of content creation, video education, 1:1 nutrition coaching, and online nutrition courses. I help active men & women fuel their fitness goals and reverse the damage of dieting through mindful eating.

My clients and students are often very driven, active individuals who find themselves stuck in the cycle of either dieting or restriction in some form or another. They may know what they want to achieve but don't know how to get there without repeating the same yo-yo dieting cycle. Often they are looking to reverse the damage that dieting and restriction have done to their metabolism. They want more energy, balanced hormones, and balanced blood sugar and want to habituate and reincorporate foods they have avoided and feared due to dieting.

Tell us about yourself

As a teenager, I struggled with my own relationship with food. I struggled for many years with disordered eating until I eventually hit a point where I knew I deserved more from life. I was tired of obsessing and stressing over food 24/7. It was consuming my entire life - and I knew there was more to life than counting calories. From that moment forward, I knew it would be my mission in life to help others heal their relationship with food too. I wanted to be the support for someone that I craved and needed when I was healing my own relationship with food. That is my consistent motivator to keep doing what I do!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It may sound silly, but if I'm being totally transparent - it has been overcoming fear and imposter syndrome. It's not that the underlying fear is no longer present, but I don't allow it to stop me from continuously improving my business one day at a time. That's a big thing for me!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I think the hardest thing about being a business owner (at least at the beginning) is that it's not all "instant gratification," like so many things we are used to nowadays. It takes a lot of hard work, sometimes for very little payoff at first. Some things you do will totally flop, and others will accelerate your business tenfold. And more often than not, the moment you don't know which one is which. With that, every day, you get to make the conscious decision of "Hey, this is totally worth it! I know this will pay off", or choosing to quit. I'm a pretty determined person, but starting a business from scratch has definitely tested me!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find things in your business that aren't simply trading time for money. I wish I had learned this sooner in my business! For example, I love my 1:1 clients, but it's not the only way my business makes income. If it were, I'd be on my computer all day long. I offer things like pre-recorded nutrition courses for those who want support from me but maybe aren't in a place to do biweekly coaching. It helps me help more people and also helps me prevent burnout in my business.
  2. Imposter syndrome is more common than you think. That person you look up to online that looks like they have it "all together" - probably feels it too. Find people you can talk to that share your pain points (and wins!) - whether through a Facebook group, on the phone, or an in-person meet-up.
  3. Don't shy away from learning a thing or two about optimizing your social media pages. Sure, I get some sign-ups from the traffic that comes to my website, but a lot of my business comes from social media. You build like and trust with people when they get to know you through short and long-form videos, blog posts, etc. The more you get out there (and learn how to navigate the waters of social media) - the better off your business will be!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you have a gift to share with the world - don't let fear block you from sharing it. The world needs your unique voice and unique gift!

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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