Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Brumberger, a clinical acupuncturist based in Bethesda, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I work in the wellness industry, and our team provides acupuncture services which include all of the aspects of East Asian medicine, including Chinese herbs, nutritional therapies, and bodywork. Our work is holistic, and our patients participate in a comprehensive program that includes their acupuncture treatments and the guidance and coordination of care needed for transformational outcomes that last a lifetime. Our patients are our customers. We specialize in digestive health, women's health, and mood conditions. My core business is my clinic.
I also love teaching and writing, so I am able to engage with the public to offer insights and guidance through writing and podcasting, and I teach acupuncture students as an adjunct faculty member as well. This well-rounded approach to the business of healing is how I feel I am able to make a difference in multiple ways.
Tell us about yourself
I'm on a mission for a better world through individual well-being. I've experienced firsthand how difficult daily living becomes when our body systems are in a breakdown and when we aren't sure how to navigate getting better with our doctors. In many cases, modern medicine was not enough to get my health or well-being back on track. This happens for many people when multiple symptoms and processes are at play. When people are sick or unwell in any way, they cannot express their best selves. Our world is kinder, more creative, more just, and more responsible when people are able to feel their best and live to their fullest potential.
I have always loved holistic medicine and have been drawn to natural medicine systems. In my late thirties, while on my own healing path, I became an acupuncture patient, then a student, and I never looked back! I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a vision for a better healthcare system. My clinics are run as an expression of helping each individual unlock their full healing potential. I want to change how we deliver healthcare to make a positive impact in society and for generations to come.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My clinical practices have served over 1400 people hands-on, and for this, I am deeply honored. And I will continue to expand the number of people we help; this is life-changing work. I've been able to do that because of the amazing partners I have worked with and the teams we have put into place. I believe my greatest accomplishment as a business owner, specifically, is the integrity with which I run my organization. As a provider in the wellness industry, I believe it is imperative to run my organization with the same commitment to well-being that we forward when serving our patients. My policies, procedures, hiring practices, training, and organizational culture are built to respect the health of the organization and the people who work inside of it. My team members have frequently shared that working for my clinic has been the best job they have ever had. For me, this is a huge accomplishment, and I remain grateful to help provide these experiences for practitioners and staff.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There are so many interesting challenges for business owners. The places where I tend to get stuck are in managing my operations and systems to keep things simple. It's easy to accidentally overcomplicate things when you are wearing many hats as a business owner. On top of that, I am constantly bubbling with ideas. Forwarding the vision and sustaining the systems simultaneously is my biggest challenge. Over time, I have learned that this is an area when enlisting help makes a big difference. Every creative entrepreneur needs a colleague to help clarify and simplify the systems and operations to maintain effectiveness and efficiency.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Pay your future and present self first, then set your budget. Your overall budget needs to include how you pay into your retirement and your daily living needs from the get-go. Incorporate this into your overhead so that your expenses and pricing are realistic for you to thrive financially. A thriving business owner does better business.
- No matter your service, you are a business first and foremost. In my case, even though I am a healthcare provider, I have to remember I run a business first. We have to take good care of our companies. Many business owners make mistakes when they forget this and put the craft or product before best business practices. Your customers are your best marketing platform, take good care of their experience, and they will take good care of you.
- Keep cultivating. As business owners, the learning is never over. Spend time with other successful business owners, and find podcasts and books that help you learn and stay relevant. Part of this cultivation is also in taking good care of yourself - your mind, body, and spirit. Create time to do fun things, take good care of your body, and keep your mind healthy. All of this is in service to you thriving and achieving the goals you have set for your 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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