Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lara Desrosiers, Owner of Pelvic Resilience, located in Kitchener, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Pelvic Resilience is a private pay Occupational Therapy service helping individuals struggling with persistent pain and pelvic health challenges (incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, painful sex, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary urgency and frequency, and constipation) to get back to living life. I support individuals who have not gotten the answers or care that they have hoped for within our traditional systems and are looking for a partner to help them make sense of their symptoms and find their way back into the driver's seat of their own health and wellness.
Tell us about yourself
I launched Pelvic Resilience after navigating the complicated transition to motherhood myself and encountering the complex physical and emotional rollercoaster of learning to live with pelvic organ prolapse. I received fantastic support from a pelvic floor therapist but also realized that there was so much more to the prolapse experience than just what was happening with my pelvic floor and pelvic organs. After joining online forums and learning that I was certainly not alone in struggling with the glaring gaps in the care available for folks with prolapse and other pelvic health challenges, I could see a very clear place for my experience as an Occupational Therapist and a mental health clinician in filling these gaps and providing the support that I wished I had in the thick of it.
I launched into professional development activities in the fields of pain neuroscience and pelvic health and have not looked back. The services that I offer afford me the privilege of bearing witness to people's unique stories and the opportunity to help them unearth their own wisdom and find new ways to manage symptoms, and move forward with what matters to them. This could not be more rewarding, and I am so thrilled that I get to LOVE what I do!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment is the fact that I have created this role that previously did not exist for Occupational Therapists (at least in my small corner of the world), and through working with many happy clients now, I have the evidence and confidence that it is hugely successful in having the impact that I had hoped for.
A ton of resistance from other health care providers and my own imposter syndrome has certainly shown up along the way. I am immensely proud that I did not let that stop me and forged ahead with my vision. This has led to the opportunity to branch out into mentoring other health care providers interested in practicing pelvic health or other role emerging areas or who are interested in learning strategies to provide more holistic and well-rounded care in the work that they do. As a result, alongside Pelvic Resilience, I have been able to create a second solopreneur endeavor (VersatilOT) where I get to pursue my newfound passion for teaching and mentoring health care providers interested in thinking and working outside of the box.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a healthcare provider in a country with a publicly funded healthcare system, I have been indoctrinated into the expectation to selflessly be of service to people. When we are trained to work in publicly funded systems, a lot of guilt develops connected to conversations about money and discomfort associated with the concept of "sales" which are HUGE obstacles to going down an entrepreneurial path.
The most challenging process for me has been to examine my complicated relationship with money and sales and to challenge some of the toxic beliefs I have learned about what it means to be a health care provider charging money for my services. It has been a process to learn how to confidently sell myself, sell my services, and become the entrepreneur that I need to be in order to maintain a healthy business and maintain a healthy me so that I CAN be of service and have an impact that I want to have.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your values. What are the core values of the business that you envision creating?
- When fear and self-doubt show up, return to your values and choose to let them guide you towards growth instead of making choices driven by the fear or self-doubt that pull us towards staying comfortable and staying small.
- Once you have a vision, know who it is you ideally want to serve and work with. Consider what they are struggling with, how you can solve these problems, and where they are already looking for solutions. This will help you to build the channels and strategies that you need to develop connections with them, guiding them to turn to you to provide the solutions they need. Re-framing "sales" to opportunities to build relationships and be of service has been a HUGE and important mindset shift for me.
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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