Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Powell, Dyslexia Specialist of Natalie LP Therapy, located in El Dorado Hills, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a certified educational therapist and certified dyslexia interventionist in Northern California, providing wrap-around dyslexia support. I offer dyslexia assessments for children and adults in Walnut Creek, El Dorado Hills, and South Lake Tahoe; dyslexia therapy on Zoom and in-person in El Dorado County; and dyslexia coaching and professional development for therapists nationwide.
Tell us about yourself
I've worked with children in educational environments for the last 13 years. Changing the lives of children for the better, and offering a very needed service that's hard for families to access (there aren't many dyslexia specialists), is extremely rewarding. The impact of dyslexia therapy goes beyond just the child. Many parents mention that once their child is diagnosed with dyslexia and starts improving in reading, the whole family dynamic transforms for the better.
There are fewer arguments and meltdowns after school, and their child starts to feel competent and successful. Often as parents learn more about dyslexia through their child's assessment or therapy process, they realize they also have dyslexia. Having their childhood struggles illuminated helps them better support their own children.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is that I built this business from the ground up. I worked as a tutor while in my educational therapy program and, upon graduation, converted my tutoring business into educational therapy practice. I was 25 at the time and had no existing referral sources or business training. I was, and still am, one of the youngest members of the field and one of the only ones without a master's degree.
I had a lot to prove (and sometimes still do)! I'm proud of all the connections with parents, teachers, and schools I've made from scratch; the referral networks I've established with pediatricians, SLPs, OTs, and neuropsychologists; and the choices I've made that have allowed me to run a successful full-time business for the last seven years, even through a pandemic and a move to the mountains.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Riding out the inevitable slow times and finding creative ways to generate business, whether through marketing, networking, offering new services, taking referrals you wouldn't normally take, increasing your social media presence, or driving farther to work with interested clients. These efforts can be humbling and exhausting, but they're necessary to reestablish momentum, and they do pay off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Choose a specialty. This actually makes clients more likely to reach out to you for ANY service because you're positioning yourself as an expert in the field.
- Nurture your network, even when business is good. You never know when you'll need to rely on your connections to get you through those slow periods.
- Don't get carried away with accumulating degrees and certifications unless they'll add substantial value to your business and to clients' experiences. The best way to generate referrals is not through accolades but through working within your passion and providing excellent service. That will naturally set you apart.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm also a Realtor! One of the things I love most about being self-employed is that my workday can be as diverse as I want it to be, and I can also fit in other roles that allow me to use different skills.
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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