Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Siobhan Carlton, Founder of Healthy Living With Siobhan, located in Midlothian, VA, USA.

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

Healthy Living With Siobhan offers health coaching to clients both in person and online, primarily focusing on strength training, yoga, and nutrition.

Most of my clients are busy professionals and/or moms with little time for themselves. These clients want to learn nutritional and lifestyle skills that will help them lead a healthier lifestyle as well as weight training and bodyweight skills to achieve their maximum fitness level.

Tell us about yourself

Health coaching is actually a second career for me. Before my boys were born, I worked in international fundraising for ten years. It was a demanding career with lots of travel and long days. So, I started yoga to calm my anxieties, and it did not take too long before one class a week turned into four classes a week, and I eventually completed my teaching certification. Over time, I added strength training to the mix with my primary focus on kettlebells and bodyweight training. For several years, I worked at a local health club, offering yoga and strength training to my clients.

Fast-forward to March 2020. One day I had a job; the next day, I did not. I did not know when the gym would re-open. I did not think that schools would close for the rest of the year, not to mention the start of the next. I had no idea where my journey was going to take me. So, I did what many others did; I started to throw multiple balls in the air and hoped that I would catch one.

As the pandemic persisted throughout the summer, it became evident that the universe was pointing me toward starting my own business. I resisted this because it was just about the scariest thing I could think of doing. In fact, even before the pandemic, I resisted this idea when others brought it to my attention. But I remembered back to my mid-twenties when I was the Executive Director of a small non-profit. It was like running a small business, and I loved it. What if, 20 years later, this was the business I intended to run? And now, two years on, I continue to nurture and grow the business I love.

I am so blessed to work with amazing clients who feed my soul and keep my energy flowing!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Before I started my business, the only way I knew how to train was in person, schedule an hour or half-hour time slot for a 1-1 client. Period. It didn’t matter that some clients had busy schedules and found it hard to either get to the gym at our scheduled time slot or even at all. Maybe they needed more than just a good workout - they also needed mindset and nutrition guidance which is hard to pack into an hour along with a workout.

I now look at each and every client and figure out what works best for them and how I can evolve to meet their shifting needs. For instance, I see a handful of my clients virtually (some do not even live in Richmond, VA). My clients also have access to my membership site, where they can take advantage of LIVE and recorded yoga classes as well as a video library of yoga and strength training exercises, and some clients who have time constraints prefer to receive a monthly program on my app where they can interact with me for form feedback or receive answers to their questions.

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

Definitely the technology! I am challenged in this area but have persisted. I suppose for me; this is where I really had to get out of my comfort zone. In the past year, I have learned how to build my own website, create a digital yoga and bodyweight course, and learned how to better market on social media.

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

  1. It will be undoubtedly hard but don’t give up. I did not allow myself to have a Plan B. If there had been a plan B, then I never would have dived wholeheartedly into my business.
  2. Hire mentors to help you navigate spaces within your business that you are unfamiliar with. For instance, when I first started my business, I hired a coach who helped me think about how I wanted to structure my product offerings and digital marketing. Their help was invaluable in getting me started.
  3. Create boundaries. I have to admit that I could do better in this area! As a business owner, there is always something that you can be doing to forge ahead. But this can get you in trouble and eventually cause burnout. I suggest blocking off time on your calendar for certain tasks and sticking to them, or else these activities will spill over into your home life.

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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