Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melinda Bekos, Founder of Integrate Columbus, located in Westerville, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Integrate is a 501c3 nonprofit that helps people navigate the landscape of integrative healthcare. Most of those we serve have complicated and troubling health issues, while others are simply health-conscious and community-minded people that want to stay on top of their wellness and participate in their community.
Tell us about yourself
I began studying fascia and lymphatics as a graduate student in anatomy and medical education. I quickly learned that people suffering from fascial and/or lymphatic conditions are hugely in need of an integrated care team that can appreciate the nature of chronic and invisible illnesses.
This leads me to create a Ph.D. program at Ohio State in Integrative Medicine and subsequently to create a community organization that can help fill the gap between conventional/hospital-based healthcare and community-based well-being services.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Every day I am able to become part of the lives of those I serve. It is an honor and a privilege. Being self-employed and the founder of a nonprofit, I am not beholden to talking points or protocols that suffocate much of the creativity and intelligence that drives change and true impact.
Owning my own business and founding a community organization like Integrate allow me to do what I think is right instead of toeing an employer's line.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a business owner keeps you honest, at least when you are in a field that depends on integrity. I don't work in a field where I can 'talk a walk' that I don't walk myself. So my work is constantly keeping me in check to be the best person and best member of my family and community that I can be.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Follow that inner voice that nudges you to do things that may be out of the box or unconventional.
- Connection and interdependence are paramount, so don't be afraid or ashamed to rely on others, and know you are always part of something bigger than yourself.
- Always keep your voice and appreciate the expertise you've accumulated.
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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