Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hannah Coakley, Founder of Pando Wellness, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.

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

I am a Queer, non-binary RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) with extensive experience in individual counseling, food justice & body image programming, as well as specialized expertise in the treatment of clients recovering from eating disorders. This expertise includes working with folks across a wide range of identities & experiences - particularly those for whom ED care has not historically been competent or accessible. This includes - but is not limited to - LGBTQIA+ & TGNC communities.

I offer individualized nutrition therapy with an emphasis on trauma healing, mindful awareness, and food flexibility. I also offer supervision for clinicians who would like to grow in their practice, particularly in serving LGBTQIA+ & TGNC clients. All of my nutrition therapy operates within a trauma-informed, body-affirming & intersectional framework.

Tell us about yourself

I vaguely thought about having my own practice for several years - however, COVID lockdown + many places' transitions to telehealth granted me the time & opportunity to dedicate myself to turning that notion into a reality. My clients motivate me! They are incredible people committed to doing such hard work - it is truly inspiring and an honor to serve them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

A few come to mind:

  1. Receiving referrals from clients & providers who have worked with me & feel that what I do would be of benefit to others
  2. Transitioning to supporting myself full-time through my business.
  3. Being asked to speak on panels or interviews like this one! Still surprised when folks think I might have some expertise to offer.

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

It can feel scary & precarious to me, knowing that I do not have a guaranteed paycheck coming to me no matter what. However, that's true for many folks. I find most jobs are rarely secure. I also try to keep in mind that a scarcity mindset usually closes you off to other opportunities and often works to exacerbate rather than alleviate your fears.

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

  1. Try not to pay for anything you can learn - stuff like basic website design, social media tips & SEO optimization. Spend your money on becoming as skilled as possible in your job. There is no business if you are not doing good work for your clients.
  2. Don't be afraid to cold call folks! Ask if someone is open to chatting over coffee (your treat) or simply reach out to someone you admire or feel is doing work you want to do. Be mindful of who this is - super influential folks are unlikely to respond, but someone a bit further along than you in the process is often very welcoming.
  3. Have a strong practice around your own mental health. Starting a business is challenging and scary - especially if you do not have a lot of financial resources to start with. Knowing how to manage your stress, set healthy boundaries & encourage yourself is essential.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I'm very friendly! And am very happy to consult with folks - we really, really need more well-informed ED providers.

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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