Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anneke Hobson, Founder of The Kiwi RD, located in Kingston, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I offer nutrition assessment and counselling services virtually to people in Ontario as a registered dietitian. My areas of expertise are in pregnancy, feeding babies and kids, intuitive eating, and plant-based/climate-friendly eating. I also see clients with certain chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease.
Tell us about yourself
I started my own practice early in 2022 after working in public health for about five years. While the pandemic was a big factor in leaving, I also really wanted to get back to one-on-one nutrition care. Everyone has different needs, experiences, and contexts for the way they eat, and this is endlessly interesting to me. It's also extremely satisfying to support people getting to a healthier place with nutrition and to help them reflect on their relationship with food overall.
I remember the first client I really helped in a tangible way. She was able to meet a pregnancy goal (related to her blood sugar) with my support and guidance, and that felt awesome. Wins like this help clarify for me why I'm putting a lot of time and effort into my business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Just getting all the logistics and administrative side of things in order. It's a lot for one person to be the bookkeeper, marketer, receptionist, IT support, and provider! But in some ways, I think it helps to have control over everything because you really know the business from all angles. It forces you to own the choices and take responsibility for them.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, it's building a business that responds to client demand without compromising on my own values and on what I want the business to be. There's so much misinformation on nutrition out there, and I often spend time undoing food myths and redirecting people away from fad diets. This can be harder to sell because accurate information is less exciting and dramatic than some of the fake news out there. Selling miracle cures is easier but doesn't help anyone. So I'm still finding the right balance of attracting clients without too much marketing hype.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find someone who has successfully set up a business in your field, and ask if they'd be willing to mentor you over the first year.
- Learn to accept rejection. Not every client will be the right fit for your services, and that's ok! It can feel like a personal failure when you're first getting started and have no clients.
- Try to stay open to new opportunities. You can do all the planning for a business when you're setting up, but it's impossible to predict how things will unfold and what opportunities will help you grow.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Starting a private practice was intimidating, but with some financial cushion (obviously a privilege), it can be fun and so liberating.
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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