Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Heather Fiore, Owner of Free State Nutrition, located in Lawrence, KS, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I provide nutrition counseling to individuals, couples, and families. While I serve clients with a number of health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, my true calling is helping people who are tired of the cycling of dieting and are ready to try something new (better). My clients improve their relationship with food, their bodies, and exercise and end up living happier and healthier. When people learn that they can't, shouldn't, and don't need to control their body weight, they experience a sense of relief, which also allows them to focus on developing a healthier lifestyle minus the constant pressure to lose weight.
Tell us about yourself
I moved to Lawrence 6 years ago with my husband and two kids. We were living in Rochester, NY, so moving to Kansas was a big culture shock. I just sort of fell into starting a business when I didn't know what kind of job I might want in my new town. Once I got started and realized I get to decide who I work with, how often we meet, and what I do to help my clients, I realized this is it for me. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a client go from feeling guilt and shame after eating to experiencing the freedom of eating for enjoyment and honoring their own bodies. I talk to people every single day who need to heal their relationship with food. We live in a culture that values thinness above everything (even health), which can create life-long pain, anger, and frustration among many, many folks and feelings of unworthiness. I would love to change that, but for now, I will help individuals live within this culture without bowing to its unrealistic demands.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think passing the 5-year mark is a big one. Growth is another accomplishment I'm proud of. I now have 2 contract dietitians working with me, which allows me to serve a broader range of clients.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the toughest parts of being a business owner is marketing. Because I don't see my clients long-term, I always need to be marketing my services so I can find new clients and continue to serve more folks. It can be exhausting to feel like you can't let up on promoting the business, so I try to do marketing activities that work best and are even enjoyable for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Definitely get a business coach. This has been tremendously helpful to me.
- Do as much as you can yourself, but know your limits and hire experts to help where needed.
- Read the book "Profit First" - it will help you establish financially healthy habits right away, so you're more likely to have a successful business.
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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