Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Natalie Rivier, founder of Nutrition With Nat, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help active women over 40 discover the best-individualized nutrition and fitness plan to help them maintain high energy levels and healthy body composition.
Tell us about yourself
Hi! I’m Natalie. A mother, girl boss, serial entrepreneur, house flipper, nutrition nut, and fitness freak. My health and fitness journey started in my teens. It was a grade 10 gym class that inspired my love of fitness. It was a special gym class called “Fit 4 Life”. There were only 9 girls in the class. Our teacher explained that we were going to focus on individual activities versus team sports. I could not have been happier. I never excelled at sports. I didn’t play many as a young child so I lacked things like coordination, body awareness and agility.
Fit 4 Life involved 5 weeks of daily cycling to start. Our parents were instructed to drop our bikes off at school and leave them there. Cycling came easy to me. Living in a small rural town, it’s the only way you can independently get anywhere!
The next 3 weeks were running. I remember the first day I could make it from the front entrance of the school to the road without stopping. The next day I ran a few more steps, and the next day a few more, and by the end of the three weeks I could run 25 minutes straight without stopping. It was so empowering.
The following 3-week block was designated to the high school weight room. I have never lifted weights before but after the first lesson I was hooked. Nothing had ever made me feel so powerful and liberated. It was totally my jam!
Since that day, 28 years ago, I have gone to the gym on a regular basis no matter what else was going on in my life. It’s been a constant in my life. I have grown physically and mentally by leaps and bounds and I continue to set personal goals for myself. Some of them I crush in a matter of days or weeks while others take me years; however, I know one thing – I am better than yesterday and Fit 4 Life sure lived up to its name!
Along the journey I became a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, yoga instructor, stand up paddle board instructor, pole fitness instructor, CrossFit Level 1 coach, aerial yoga instructor and probably a few more that I am forgetting. Empowering others to get moving was, and is, a passion of mine but at the age of 25 something went wrong with my health. I sought out the help of many doctors and specialists but none were able to figure out my problem.
One day while searching the internet for vitamins or foods that could help with my symptoms I came across the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. To this day I have never felt so certain that this was the path I needed to take. That instant I walked into my boss’ office, quit my job, and registered for school. The only way to solve my illness, I concluded, was to learn how to heal myself. I studied at the school from 2002-2003.
Upon graduation I was hired to teach sports nutrition among other courses. After a year of teaching the owner offered to sell the business to me. I loved the school and what it had taught me so much I never wanted to leave. It was a dream come true to have the opportunity to own it – it had literally changed my life!
Each day, whether it’s through food or exercise, I empower people to live healthier, happier lives and in turn I am awarded the same.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was moving from a fitness instructor/personal trainer to buying the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition when I was a single mother of a 7-week old baby and all the amazing things I learned about myself and about business over the 17 years I've been running it.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is staying focused. There are so many wonderful opportunities to take advantage of in the fitness and nutrition space but spreading myself too thin never serves anyone well.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- To always keep learning and never get too comfortable.
- Focus on one thing at a time, or it can become overwhelming.
- Just start. It will never be perfect, and the only way to get better is to do it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.