Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Allie Potter, Founder of fuelED, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
fuelED provides nutrition education and coaching - helping people develop sustainable, healthy habits for long-term success. We specialize in personal nutrition coaching, working one-on-one with individuals to help them use nutrition to reach their health and wellness goals. We also partner with gyms and fitness studios to, through nutrition, help them create an additional revenue stream while giving members the best chance of achieving the transformations they're seeking. Finally, we offer employee wellness initiatives to help teams become their best selves - both in and outside of the workplace.
Tell us about yourself
I love food – but I didn't always. I always wondered, am I eating too much? Too little? Do I meet society's (unrealistic) expectations of what a woman should look and be like? Will I ever? Then I started getting more serious about my fitness, and for the first time in my life, I felt strong and powerful. The more passionate I became about fitness, the more I realized that it mattered what I was putting into my body. Not just for what my body LOOKED like but for what my body could DO and how I could perform. I realized that I had to give my body the nutrients – and the fuel – it needed. Not only for tomorrow, or next week, or even next year but for 40 years from now. I love hiking, kayaking, long walks with my dog, and lifting heavy weights – and I want to develop the habits now that gives me the best shot of doing all these things for years and years to come.
I never planned to start a business. I never even planned to have a career in nutrition. I first became certified in the field for my own knowledge and growth, not as a way to generate revenue, but I soon discovered that I could use the passion and the knowledge I had to help others in a big way. My husband is an active duty service member, and we move frequently, so transition and change are a regular part of our everyday life. The flexibility of entrepreneurship was appealing to me because it provided an opportunity to be both a supportive wife/partner AND a career-focused woman building my own professional legacy. The need to be flexible and "go with the flow" as a military spouse has prepared me well for the uncertainty that accompanies entrepreneurship. It's helped me be more comfortable with the inevitable unknown, so I can continue to push forward.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To me, our greatest success is the stories of clients whose lives we've changed in meaningful, tangible ways.
Take Nikki, for instance:
"I not only learned how and what to eat. I also gained a much healthier body image/mindset. I gave myself permission to stop over-exercising. And while I lost weight (and inches), I also lost my obsession with the number on the scale and gained a much healthier perspective of what it means to be healthy across the board. I gained so many healthy habits that I will continue to carry with me because I know just how much they positively impact my daily function and allow me to not only perform better in the gym but feel my best throughout the day!"
There's nothing better than feeling like our work has a meaningful impact on the lives of others.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
While running your own business is awesome and affords you a lot of autonomy and flexibility, it's also very lonely. I was truly unprepared for how isolated I'd feel making decisions on my own. This was especially true at the beginning but remains true even as I continue to build and grow my team. It's only through seeking out meaningful connections with others who are "in the same boat" and realizing that we all feel this way from time to time that I've learned to manage these feelings. I would encourage any business owners who feel this way to seek out like-minded people, be willing to get vulnerable with them... and then the journey won't be so lonely.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a clear understanding of what your "why" is - and keep it top of mind, especially when things get tough.
- Take on the tasks that you're best suited to do, and outsource the others wherever you can.
- Set firm boundaries around your time - especially if you work from home. If you don't, burnout is almost inevitable. (I'm still working on this one!)
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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