Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tammy Lalonde, Founder of Red Leaf Wellness Inc., located in Edmonton, AB, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Red Leaf Wellness is an integrative wellness clinic specializing in Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Functional Medicine, Herbal Consultation, Nutrition Consultation, Osteopathy, Qigong, Craniosacral Therapy, and Reiki. We are a socially ethical company predicated on achieving and maintaining consumer trust. We are humbled to have been consistently recognized by multiple authorities for excellence in patient care and consumer trust (e.g., Vue Weekly Magazine, Edmonton’s Three Best Rated, Community Votes, Best of Edmonton, Top Choice Awards, and others).
We differ from others in our emphasis on evidence-informed care, partnerships, and integrative medicine. First, we carefully curate our clinical team, ensuring we not only have the top clinicians who are widely recognized for their professional achievements but also that the skills brought to the table are integrated and leveraged by other team members and external partners. Second, we establish dedicated referral pathways so that we can draw on expertise within our community. We are not afraid to refer outwards. We know where our strengths are and where a patient is best served by meeting with our partners instead. Finally, we focus on customer support beyond the visits to our clinic. This may take the form of check-ins to see how patients are doing, helpful guides and instructional content through our communication channels, and regularly eliciting feedback on how we can improve. We think the only way to ensure we are continuously improving is to hold ourselves open and vulnerable to critical feedback.
Tell us about yourself
Caring for people is my passion, and one of the greatest callings life has to offer. I am a seasoned Paramedic and Acupuncturist with extensive experience assisting patients as they cope with obvious and invisible injuries. I have been there for those in desperate medical, psychological or traumatic situations, delivered beautiful babies in vehicles parked along the road, and administered care in such odd locations as on a domestic airliner at 30,000 feet or when flying emergency medevacs over the Arabian desert-scapes. I know how to care for those in true crisis but have also witnessed so many more whose illnesses and injuries could be traced back to their treatment of the body, whether through their diet, fitness levels, or neglect. As my career has evolved, so has my focus, which has shifted to helping a greater number of people early on to prevent minor issues from evolving into larger and costlier illnesses. In my practice, I have found a niche offering by pairing these strengths in emergency care and women’s health with the respected skills and techniques from top practitioners in traditional Chinese medicine. All care is focused on returning the body, mind, and spirit to a whole.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Part of our goal to provide our patients with the best care was to bring together a broader team of carefully curated health care providers under one network to make it easier for patients to get quick access to what they need. Late last year, we began the Restore+ Network (www.restoreplusnetwork.com), an integrative care network bridging primary care, complementary care, and mental health services. It is a huge accomplishment for us and, to our knowledge, is the first formal integrative care network in our region, if not within Canada. Members of the Restore+ Network partner closely together to develop a comprehensive, whole health treatment plan to assist with your health journey.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As everyone can attest, the largest challenge we have collectively faced has probably been to remain solvent during a global pandemic. Our operations saw us carefully managing growth during this period, deliberately opening a new location and cautiously adding new staff. We often had sleepless nights and anxiety about whether we could continue to pay bills and make payroll. We certainly feel fortunate to have continued to expand during these times and have many dedicated staff and loyal clients to thank for this.
Over the last year, I thought I would add to the challenges and complete my Doctoral degree whilst managing my clinic full-time. At the tail end of this experience, I can look back now and say it has been worth it, though I certainly had my share of reservations early on.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Approach your practice from a mindset of abundance! Knowledge is a privilege and is meant to be shared with others. If we approach our lives with fear and scarcity, it prevents us from growing as individuals and leaders.
- Enjoy what you do on a day-to-day basis…life is too short not to be facing each day with joy.
- Focus on enriching the lives of those you come into contact with, whether patients, staff, or clinical partners. Their successes will become your success.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Self-care matters when it comes to business success and finding balance in life. Focus on positivity, basic wellness (keep active and stay hydrated), and taking time for yourself. I rely on mindfulness and meditation to reset and better prepare for the rigors of my 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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