Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Allison Alvarado, Founder of Nutrition With Allison, located in Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own Nutrition With Allison, a private practice focused on counseling individuals who want to improve their relationship with food or who are struggling with gut health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and more. I also practice from a weight-inclusive, non-diet lens, meaning my work focuses on helping clients create a sustainable and balanced lifestyle instead of restricting certain food groups, counting calories, or intentional weight loss.
Tell us about yourself
I don’t think I would be a registered dietitian without recovering from my relationship with food and my body. That journey made me realize the lack of support for struggling people who aren’t sure where to start. I was motivated to start my practice because I want to be a resource for other people so they can begin their healing process.
Throughout my education, I also realized there are many misconceptions about gut health and how to treat symptoms. I want to support people who think their only option in dealing with gut issues is eliminating more and more food when there are other aspects of their life to consider as well.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a new business owner is having the courage to open my business right out of school. In the field of dietetics, there’s often the feeling that we have to go into clinical work for a few years before going into another area of the field. After talking to other dietitians along the way–I realized I had the knowledge and resources to start my dream job right away instead of waiting for the perfect moment to leave a job that didn’t inspire me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is being a jack of all trades. As a solo entrepreneur, you do everything a business entails. You’re the accountant, the marketing manager, the clinician, the secretary, and so much more. It’s a great learning experience, but sometimes it can be overwhelming.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a support system from others in your field. Being a small business owner can be lonely, and you don’t have the luxury of having coworkers to bounce ideas off. Finding other business owners who have gone through what you have or who are in a similar place as you can help simmer the imposter syndrome and give you ideas when you’re in a rut.
- You don’t have to strive for perfection. As a business owner, you’ll always be thinking of new ideas and how to improve current systems. Sometimes, this can prevent us from actually launching an idea because we will look at all the ways to perfect it. Most times, we’ve done our best, and we just need to release it to the world, making tweaks as we go. We won’t make any progress in our business if we always hold on to the things we don’t think are 100%.
- It takes time to grow. A booming business isn’t necessarily going to happen overnight. It takes time and patience, but if you work hard and aren’t afraid to ask for help, you’re on the right track!
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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