Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lorenzo Rodriguez, founder of Nutriculture LLC., located in Rochester, NY, USA.

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

Nutriculture is a completely virtual one-to-one coaching service that designs its program around each client. From habit building and behavior change to nutrition, exercise, and one-on-one coaching, Nutriculture aims to change how the industry approaches wellness coaching and weight loss. When clients hire a Nutriculture coach, they invite an expert to support them, guide them, and work with them to dismantle self-limiting beliefs, build goal-crushing habits, and learn how nutrition and exercise fit into their particular lifestyle to achieve optimal results.

Our ideal clients are those who seek to learn and improve, who are goal-oriented, who seek to trade the excessive cardio and restrictive dieting for balance, and who can be patient with themselves, their body, and their process, so they can live guilt-free, eat until they’re full and achieve lasting results, once and for all.

Tell us about yourself

In my background, I’m an anthropologist– a social scientist– and I specialize in socio-medical anthropology. I’ve spent the last several years studying healthcare access issues and social determinants of health among members of marginalized communities around the world. Both a McNair Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar, my research has taken me from the dairy farms in Western NY to segregated Romani neighborhoods in Bulgaria and Romania to the most impoverished and segregated Haitian communities in the Dominican Republic.

I’ve presented on topics related to social determinants of health at conferences across the US for international NGOs and have guest lectured for university and medical students on these same topics. Throughout my work, I’ve highlighted access to nutrition education as a key social determinant for health status and outcomes, and it is through this realization that Nutriculture came to be.

As an academic and an entrepreneur, my vision for Nutriculture goes beyond the mission of a weight-loss company. By providing what I believe is a cutting-edge weight management system tailored to the individual, backed by the latest science and geared toward optimally balanced nutrition, Nutriculture is able to streamline client success, client adherence, and results for every Nutriculture client that last, long term. But beyond just the success of our clients, Nutriculture is on a mission to do well for the world.

It’s my dream to build a program that is capable of guaranteeing success for every single client, but beyond that, I dream of taking this system and building a philanthropic leg to Nutriculture so my team can contribute to the global mission of helping communities around the world access healthful foods, resources, and knowledge that will allow their families to live longer healthier and more nutritionally balanced lives.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Starting. I was a first-generation student and first-generation graduate in my family, and today, I am a first-generation entrepreneur. It can be scary to take the first step, but when you realize what you’re building can have a larger impact on your community and a larger application for the world, the effort and sacrifice become a blessing. Every task, conversation, and experience, good and bad, has a purpose. Nutriculture grew from just an idea nine months ago to a company and a team on a mission to make the world a healthier place, one client at a time...And it all started with a single passion, a single vision, and a single, very important action– starting.

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

At the end of the day, your visions and goals can’t become a reality without a team. Growing a team takes time, talent, and capital. Without capital, you can’t grow your team and acquire paying customers, and without customers, you can’t grow your capital. When a business begins with a social mission, the decisions it makes need to be both valuable to its customers and congruent with its vision, so balancing business and vision, I feel, encompasses the largest challenge.

Like a weight loss journey, we are working toward progress, not perfection. The same applies to business– the decisions we make daily must bring the organization and its customers toward progress and not get hung up on any image or perfection. Decisions that move the needle towards progress, not perfection, are the hardest decisions of all.

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

  1. Choose something you love, that you’re passionate about and that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life. Look beyond the business. What lasting impact will your efforts have on the communities around you, should they succeed? And what lessons can you take away and share with others? Should it not succeed?
  2. Identify your business objective. Is it simply to support you and your family? Does it have a larger purpose? Do you plan on having employees? Are employees essential for operations? Understanding the foundations of your business will allow you to prepare for big decisions down the road, particularly if you choose to scale.
  3. Make sure that your business isn’t solely passion. Be strategic and understand your market. Understand your service, your costs of doing business, your competition in the market, who needs your service or product, and how much you can reasonably sell your product or service for. The ideal business has a healthy margin of return on each sale, minimizes outside variables that you as the product or service provider cannot control (i.e., 3rd party vendors such as unpredictable supply chain partners), and seeks to find a healthy, scalable balance between value for the customer and time required to deliver that value. When your energy isn’t focused completely on the business, you have more opportunity to focus your energy on the business– improving, growing, and maximizing value for your customers.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Don’t fear failure, find a mentor, and follow your heart. Do what brings you joy and brings value to the world around you. If you achieve those two things, you have a good business.

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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