Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Cerda, Founder of Beyond Behavior Nutrition, located in LaVale, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I offer personalized nutrition consultations for school-aged children and teens who are struggling with allergies, attention, and behavior. My work involves the whole family and focuses on supporting brain balance and digestive health while building healthy relationships with food.
Tell us about yourself
I always joke that my 6-year-old son sent me to graduate school, but it's true! His early childhood was not an easy one, and he ended up facing a number of behavior-related diagnoses when he started school. The parent guilt hit hard, and I couldn't see a way forward until he had a serious allergic reaction to the food packed in this lunch. That scary event, and the subsequent allergy testing, ended up positively impacting all of our lives. In the end, he was diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies (20+ foods!), and the dietary shifts we struggled through brought my sweet child back to me. The behavioral diagnoses no longer fit, his health soared, and I was compelled to understand all of the details of this metamorphosis. My passion comes from that deep feeling of hopelessness and desperation and a promise I made to myself that no other parent should have to go through this alone.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This year marks my 5th year in business. For someone with a vision and no formal business training, 5 years feels monumental. That's 5 years of figuring out the tech, the systems, the books, the marketing, the networking, and finding my creativity in the midst of it all. That's also 5 years of serving clients and watching young lives change for the better - nothing compares!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a solopreneur, balancing administrative tasks with client-facing hours can feel like a tremendous challenge in time management. Dropping perfectionism and taking a big-picture view at productivity helps me remain effective and energized to tackle each day. Some weeks end up heavy on client work, and others are heavy on admin, and that's okay.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It may be cliche at this point, but you must pick a niche. In a world where every business is competing for consumers' attention, getting very specific with your ideal audience allows your messaging to cut through the noise.
- Refining your language so that it speaks to your audience is especially key for those in the health and wellness realm. We may know all of the science and be eager to share that knowledge, but our audience is more interested in knowing that we understand their pain. My clients often tell me that they are thrilled to work with me because "I get it."
- Networking with colleagues is a key factor to success. Not only does this promote a strong referral network, but it's also an opportunity to share new research findings and approaches to stay sharp and build community.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I think it's important for entrepreneurs to frequently return to their "why." The passion and drive that fueled you to start is a powerful tool for sparking creativity and getting through the tough moments.
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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