Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erica Brunette, Founder of Wellness for the Ages, LLC., located in Augusta, ME, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I have a holistic health coaching business aimed at helping (mostly) women build a strong foundation of health in order to age successfully, free from disability and disease. I've helped women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s because it's never too late to take strides toward improving your health.
Nutrition is one aspect of my coaching, but beyond that, I support women who are struggling with their relationship with food. "Getting healthy" looks different for everyone. I take a very personalized, bio-individual approach to help clients meet their goals and set them up for a bright future.
Tell us about yourself
I was working as a physical therapist for over a decade, specializing in home health and the geriatric population. Toward the end of that career, I developed a strong desire to shift my efforts from end-of-life care to preventative care in hopes of making a greater difference. Not to mention, the stress and long hours of that occupation were taking a significant toll on my own health and happiness.
Learning how chronic stress impacts our health took me way too long. Not to mention the effects of ultra-processed foods, environmental toxins, etc. Our institutions do a really poor job of educating our population on wellness matters. In a country run by Big Food, Big Pharma, and the diet industry, it's nearly impossible to make good choices unless you're an incredibly savvy consumer. My goal is to arm clients with the information needed to tune out all that noise and make better choices.
In early adolescence, I believed health had everything to do with weight. Years of yo-yo dieting and restriction lead to binge eating. The physical stress of poor eating habits and the accompanying burden of shame resulted in my hormonal and emotional health downward spiral. In a culture that's so obsessed with thinness, I decided to make it part of my mission to save other women from the pain I went through. I've turned my wounds into my work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, just taking the leap to start this business has been its own accomplishment. I left a financially stable career as a PT to bet on myself, not knowing if success would follow. I'm still small potatoes, but I take pride in knowing that I got off the hamster wheel and am now building the life I want.
Additionally, every client I help it its own achievement.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It's an extremely vulnerable position to be in—trying to sell your business when "you" are the business, especially in today's online space where there are always people who will try to pick you apart and tear you down. Trying to grow a business through social media requires perseverance and a thick skin.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ask for help. Nobody cares about your business as much as you do. People who haven't started a business have no idea how small gestures like sharing your posts or putting your business card on bulletin boards will help, so they won't do it unless you prompt them to do so.
- Positive self-talk. It's really hard to start a business. It can easily get overwhelming and make you feel like throwing in the towel very quickly. When you get discouraged, be your own hype man. Write positive affirmations, talk yourself up in the mirror, etc.
- Be patient. In most cases, success won't come overnight. Patience is something I preach to all of my coaching clients as well. Quick fixes and shortcuts do not work when you're pursuing long-term results. Be willing to invest the time it takes to find success, even if it takes way longer than expected.
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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