Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin Vanderkooy, founder of Erin Vanderkooy Wellness, located in Portland, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Erin Vanderkooy Wellness! I am a Functional Nutrition Counselor who supports clients through one-on-one 6-month programs or my Uniquely Nourished Group Program series. My customers are people who are looking to improve the quality of their health and oftentimes are feeling stuck with what direction to take. There is so much amazing information out there with regards to what works in health and wellness; however, the key is finding out what works best for your unique body and mind! It's not about willpower. Understanding how and why your body reacts and feels is so important without judgment or shame, no right or wrong, good or bad.
Tell us about yourself
In my early 20's I had severe IBS, so I went to the doctor for answers. They did what they did best and made a list of everything it could possibly be. While it was a relief to find out that I didn't have any scary diseases, I was left feeling really alone and a little lost when they said at the end of the testing, 'there is nothing wrong with you. This lead me down a path of self-discovery and education where I haven't looked back! In 2021 I completed my Functional Nutrition Counselor/Lifestyle Practitioner certification. I was excited to incorporate this accessible approach into my health coaching practice.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The most rewarding part of my job is helping people understand some of the myths they've been lead to believe like:
- It's part of getting older.
- It's in your genes.
- It's how your body is made up.
We do not need to deal with unwanted symptoms or with not feeling well or with our level of 'normal' so low that we forget what it felt like to have energy, sleep better, have clear skin, and great poops!
My biggest accomplishment is in my Uniquely Nourished Food Intolerance program, when clients get rid of symptoms that they have been dealing with sometimes for 10+ years. This is so incredibly rewarding.
One of my favorite things about educating clients who have weight loss goals is that oftentimes they can eat MORE food and that the foods that support their body can be fun and tasty.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would say wearing all the different hats! I love what I do when I am coaching, teaching, or leading groups. Sometimes the other parts of being a business owner are less appealing, like accounting or sales/marketing. Haha. I find that getting in the right mindset prior to doing these tasks with my favorite hot beverage makes all the difference in the world.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't wait to start. It's better to start without it all being 'perfect' than to not start at all. You'll learn so much along the way!
- Find out what lights you up the most and focus on that. As soon as it is possible, hire someone to do the tasks that aren't necessarily your zone of genius.
- Find community! There is nothing quite like collaborating with others in your industry or other business owners. You can learn so much from each other.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Observation and curiosity over judgment. Always.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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