Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Aisha Durrani, Founder of The Healing Lodge, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own my Naturopathic Medicine practice. My clients are proactive individuals looking to optimize their health and get long-term solutions. I see people from all walks of life Police officers, Nurses, Members of Parliament, teachers, mothers, lawyers, etc. We focus on three main areas of health: Hormones, Gut, and Emotional Regulation. And offer healing on a root cause level that includes tapping into the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing of anyone that walks into my practice. We spend an hour in the Initial consult and go over all concerns, educate the patient about their body and put a treatment plan in place for them. It is VERY important to me that I have a strong understanding about their lives. I always say I treat the WHOLE person, not their individual diseases. Our treatments are a mix of diet and lifestyle recommendations, comprehensive testing, supplements, emotional work, and more.
Tell us about yourself
I've always been a person who works best in my own time and space. It was also important for me to be able to establish myself in a way that speaks to my energy and the care and attention I like to provide. I also am a patient myself first, so to honour my body working 9-5 was not where I flourished. Being able to pivot my practice according to my energy became the central focus.
I started my business during the pandemic, where virtual spaces started to thrive. I figured the worst-case scenario was having an empty schedule. And best case scenario was not having to worry about paying rent for an office space. I started with a virtual office and invested in a virtual assistant and online platforms that made it easy for the user. I built my online presence and later invested in a business coach. A few months in, the practice was booming, and we secured rent-as-needed office space. My clinic was named The Healing Lodge, and it travels with me. I spent the last 4 months traveling and practicing when I could as a health coach.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to pivot my business as soon as it is needed. Business is about flow, flowing with the season and the current state of affairs. Getting comfortable is where your business starts to die down, and I enjoy this challenge. I'm also a person who generates a lot of ideas and loves to put them into action as soon as possible. It's a very real breathing thing, and you have to keep it alive.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In the beginning, I was wearing multiple hats, being the bookkeeper, the admin, dealing with insurances and social media. I enjoyed learning those skills, but it was burning me out. Outsourcing these tasks and taking on great people has been a game changer.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I'll say it in 3 words, as Nike says- JUST DO IT!
You're never going to be ready for all the curve balls, you're going to learn on the job, and if you like being challenged, this is an adventure on its own. Start with building an online presence; in today's day, you don't even need a website. Get the word out and always hire someone who is an expert in what they do, don't try to become one. And the most important- take ownership. Your business is an extension of you, and if you want to grow, you need feedback. Having a growth-oriented mindset will throttle your business.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm passionate about women starting their own businesses in the healthcare space and have mentored a few. It's such a rewarding and fulfilling thing. The first year is the HARDEST and all about testing and trying ways that work for you. Make sure you have fun along the way and find people who're ahead of you in the game, and reach out to them. Have a community who supports you, especially if you're running this Solo!
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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