Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tyler Janzen, Founder of Empowerment Rolfing®, located in Calgary and Edmonton, AB, Canada.

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

My business is Rolfing, and my customers are anyone who is not moving as easily or as freely as they would like to, who is held back by pain or muscle tension, or who is seeking a more sustainable way to move and live. Much of what we do in Rolfing involves working hands-on with soft tissue, but the practice goes way beyond your everyday myofascial release or deep tissue massage.

Rolfing is built around a series of 10 sessions that work progressively from superficial to deeper structures, freeing the restrictions that have accumulated as our bodies adapt to stresses or injuries over time. Despite the overall framework, each session is tailored to you based on movement assessments and also on the restrictions we find as we work through different areas. Rolfing can vary from the lightest touch to quite deep pressure, but my contact is always thoughtful and curious. By creating a safe space for your nervous system, tight, angry muscles and other restrictions are more likely to let go, and your body can begin the process of finding a more sustainable state of balance.

Due to the complex relationships in which hips, feet, knees, spine, and neck are all either supporting or at least greatly affecting each other, this pursuit of holistic freedom of movement and improved function often provides lasting relief when other therapies or treatments have failed. Developing awareness of the stresses we put on our bodies and education around best movement practices can also play a critical role in moving from merely addressing symptoms to finding sustainable solutions.

Tell us about yourself

After suffering an overuse injury during a long-distance cycle tour in 2016, I became trapped in a cycle of nervous system over-reactivity. Muscle spasms, inflammation, tightness, and pain kept me from working, biking, and so many of the things I love and forced me to leave a well-paid career as a technician. In desperation, I tried everything, anti-inflammatories, injections, nerve suppressants, continuing my downward spiral for almost five years before I discovered Rolfing Structural Integration.

This was the beginning of the path to understanding what was happening with my body and to getting my life back. When I realized that I could earn a living and spend my life learning about anatomy and people and helping them in the same way I had been helped, there was really no question as to whether I would become a Rolfer. I'm motivated every day by my belief that there are many people just like me in the world who could benefit greatly in their lived experiences of their own bodies through this practice. I'm excited to see the practice grow and to inspire others towards this career path so that more people can have access to and awareness of this powerful tool to help people in their bodies.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My business is still very much in the start-up phase. I am currently transitioning to Calgary, where there are no Rolfers, so more or less starting from nothing, so not sure I have any worthy accomplishments to note. In the long term, I want to spread awareness of this valuable practice in Calgary and inspire more people to become practitioners. This is an amazing career for anyone who has compassion for others and enthusiasm to keep learning and growing, as there is more to know than one could possibly absorb in a lifetime.

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

Staying organized, being efficient with time management, and being motivated to get out every day and try and convince people of the value of something they have often never heard of before.

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

  1. Maintaining passion is key to success and to selling yourself and your business.
  2. Considering worst-case scenarios honestly is critical to long-term success and being prepared for inevitable difficulties.
  3. Prioritize developing long-term relationships which will build and support your business and your reputation in the long run over trying to make a profit out of every customer interaction at all costs.

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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