Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lucy Nepstad, Founder of GutsyGreen, located in Madison, WI, USA.

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

As a Root Cause Health Practitioner, I specialize in toxin-driven chronic illness and use a mitochondria-centered approach to restore health.I tend to work with a lot of clients who have been suffering from gut, immune, and inflammatory symptoms for years but who have no formal diagnosis yet.

We help these folks to finally find the “why” behind the symptoms. Then we turn things around using real food, personalized protocols, functional bloodwork, empowering education, and a supportive community.

Tell us about yourself

I was forced to walk away from a promising career as an environmental scientist because of a Lupus diagnosis. I was told I had to go onto medication for the rest of my life and that I would never be able to work in the sun again. I knew my body was capable of healing and decided to focus full-throttle on my gut health and, later, my mitochondrial health. Doing this allowed me to side-step medication, normalize my blood work, and live a normal and active life.

I think all the time about what would have happened if I had made the other choice, to go on medication and obey the men in the white coats without question. My driving force is to help as many people as I can to avoid that fate and to empower them to take control back in their health.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I’m proud of the value we provide to the growing community of people with the chronic toxin-driven illness. We provide resources for folks at every stage of their journey, whether they’re brand new to thinking about their health outside of the conventional paradigm or whether they’re health pros looking to optimize.

99% of the time, people are missing the toxin piece, and when they engage with our content, it can be very illuminating for them and can help to cut through all the other noise. We get lots of messages from folks every day telling us they finally feel like they’ve found the missing piece.

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

As someone working in the wellness world, many folks coming to me have been very traumatized by the conventional medical community and even by some alternative practitioners. Building trust with these people can be difficult.

This means that my business model has had to account for overcoming a lot of objections and reluctance. We try to side-step this hurdle by curating lots of value-packed free content for new visitors to engage with and speaking at length about how we’re different than traditional and alternative approaches.

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

  1. I wish, instead of focusing on my “niche” and content creation in the beginning, that I had just figured out the product I wanted to sell first. I think the other stuff would have come so much easier if I had just understood my product/service, to begin with.
  2. It’s been great to have different streams of income via online courses, supplements, affiliation links, and then higher-priced 1-on-1s. I highly suggest diversifying income and setting up passive streams like this as early on as possible, so you’re not always trading time for dollars.
  3. For me, it’s been really important to keep connecting to my “why” in order to stay motivated and improve my offers. When I think about my business as an avenue to help people, it’s a lot easier to put myself out there and, likewise, to take criticism. So staying mindful of your mission, I think, is paramount for mindset.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I think it’s important to remember that there are a million different ways to build a business successfully, and there is no wrong way. It took me a while to figure out that leaning into what makes me and my company different instead of trying to fit it in with what’s already on the market would make me stand out. Your business is just an extension of yourself, so honor its uniqueness and let your freak flag fly!

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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