Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ellie Kelsey, Founder of Ellie Kelsey Nutrition LLC., located in Wall, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Ellie Kelsey Nutrition is my private practice. Right now, I am the only one in my business, but I so gratefully have a volunteer registered dietitian (RD) student assistant! She found me and asked if she could help <3 My clients come to me because they want to work on healing their relationship with food. Clients either have an eating disorder, have been on every diet (yo-yo dieting), and are confused about what to eat, or they have just been diagnosed with a new medical condition, and they want to learn what is helpful for managing their new disease process. I practice from a weight-inclusive, food-neutral perspective. There is no body or food shaming in my practice. I help clients maintain adequate nutrition and gain more pleasure and joy from food.
Tell us about yourself
I did my undergraduate degree in Biobehavioral Health (BBH) at Penn State. I originally wanted to do public health, health policy administration, or sociology- I loved so many things and was lucky to be able to learn about all of them. In the BBH major, I learned about all of the social determinants of health and all of the factors that influence health. This was fascinating to me, and I loved looking at the different interactions and connections between them. I switched to wanting to pursue nutrition my last semester at Penn State and then went on to get a master's at Bastyr University. There, I learned about the health of every size and fully immersed myself in learning about eating disorders. I had my first few jobs in a clinical hospital, a behavioral health center, and then an inpatient eating disorder unit. I had to leave the inpatient eating disorder unit because there were practices that did not feel ethically okay to me. I had wanted to bring in more holistic practices to treatment or be able to treat in a different way which I really wasn't able to in that setting. When I was applying to other jobs after leaving the eating disorder unit, I noticed I didn't know how to respond when interviewers were asking me, "why do you want this job?" If you know me, you know I have no poker face, so I wasn't able to fake an answer for the interview. I was interviewing very poorly and honestly just didn't want the jobs that were being offered. I had always wanted to do things my way but starting a new business was a risk and a big investment. My RD friends were really monumental in encouraging me to start my own practice and believed in me. I thank them and all of my other friends and family that have supported me along the way. I definitely could not have done any of it without them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm not sure I've hit my biggest accomplishment yet as a business owner. But, when my business sign for my office space went up on a large highway, I felt really accomplished.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Have to set your own schedule!!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- There are going to be days when you think that you might have made the wrong decision by starting your business. This is normal. If it happens, let yourself feel the feeling and then go back to your "why." Make sure during doubtful times that you are giving yourself a little extra self-care, whatever that looks like for you. Running and growing a business can EASILY lead to burnout.
- Ask for help. People like to help.
- Speak what you want to be true. Tell people what your hopes and dreams are; it helps to create them :)
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
You need carbs to survive and thrive daily, multiple times a day, and don't go too long (3-4hrs) without eating!
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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