Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Howell, Manager and Nutritionist at The Natural Alternative, located in Paso Robles, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Rachel Howell here! Your friendly neighborhood Nutritionist. I am the proud Manager and resident Nutritionist at The Natural Alternative Nutrition Center in beautiful downtown Paso Robles, CA. After 27 years in business, The Natural Alternative is a pillar of trust and service in the community. We cater to all types of people focused on improving their health. Women between the ages of 35-80 are our primary audience, but we see and assist men too. (When their partners send them in). Jokes aside, many of my female clients suffer from hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, high cholesterol, and trouble losing weight. I teach my clients that achieving optimal health is a journey and encompasses more than just nutrition. My clients benefit from plant-forward diets, regular exercise, and daily mindfulness practices.

Tell us about yourself

I thrive off positivity and consistency. I believe that optimal health is achieved through self-love and small, everyday changes over the lifetime rather than short spurts of perfectionistic self-punishing routines. A graduate of Colorado State University (go rams!), my background is in Dietetics. I chose to study Dietetics because I believe in a food-first philosophy of nutrition. Food-first means food is your first priority as a preventative for disease.

I have always been passionate about health, movement, and cooking healthy foods, but what really led me to pursue nutrition in terms of education were my own digestive health issues that conventional doctors could not help me find relief from. After much suffering, I did my own research and healed my gut issues through dietary changes and the use of digestive health supplements. My own experiences with digestive, skin, and mental health issues have made me a more compassionate person who is so motivated to help my clients find relief from their sufferings.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I consider my rising from Wellness Associate (2016) to Manager (2021) to Nutritionist (2022) and completing my B.S. degree in between to be my greatest accomplishment. I am proud to have increased our annual profits by nearly 20% during my first year as Manager while also increasing our social media presence and popularity among younger individuals exponentially.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about running a business is finding a balance between focusing on the people and numbers. Profit margins and the bottom line are obviously important components of my business, but so is the well-being of my staff and clients. When clients are happy with my service, they tell their friends and family. When my staff feels understood, cared for, and supported, they work more efficiently and are happy to come to work. Getting too caught up in saving each penny at the expense of the well-being of my staff or the satisfaction of a client is not worth it in the long run. So I really try and find a healthy balance between cutting costs and staying lean while also ensuring my staff don't feel overwhelmed and my clients don't feel shorted.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Stay organized. Utilize planners, desk calendars, habit trackers, and lists, and write everything down you aim to accomplish each day, week, month, quarter, and year.
  2. Stay updated on changes in the industry you're in to stay relevant and competitive. Read articles and have discussions with other industry professionals.
  3. Maintain balance in your life. It is easy to get burned out when you only focus on your business. Remember to schedule time with friends, spend time outside, and keep up with the other things in your life that make you happy!

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.