Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and nutrition but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Wendy Leonard, Founder of Rhode Island Nutrition Therapy, LLC., located in North Kingstown, RI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a small group of registered dietitians, health coaches, and personal trainers who work with our clients to create personalized and sustainable nutrition and lifestyle wellness plans. Our goal is to help our clients reach and maintain their personal goals, improve their overall health and achieve optimal wellness for life.
Tell us about yourself
I am a registered dietitian and business owner, and I also have four children. It's not always a fine balance between all of the hats I wear, but I wouldn't change a thing! I had always wanted to be in private practice, but I think I was always afraid that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to run my own business successfully.
Then in 2015, as I was going through a divorce and I felt like my whole life was falling apart, all of my fears of failure became almost laughable. What did I have to lose? It was actually very freeing to have your life fall apart. I felt like I could rebuild it however I wanted to and that I would figure it out along the way. I am motivated by my patients and their spirits to change.
The path to wellness is deep-rooted and spiritual, and along with making changes on the outside, something moves within them, and they become more aligned with who they are and what they want in life. I am also motivated by my amazing team. Each one of them brings something great to the group as a whole. They are all so creative and motivated, and I really love them all. We are a bit like a family, but a healthy one.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is taking the step to start my business. Hands down, those are at the top. My second accomplishment is learning every day how to run a financially healthy business without having a background in business or finance.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is keeping your focus. There are good days and bad days, good months and bad months. There are times you just want to throw in the towel. Times when you say, "I am working so hard! Why am I not seeing the fruits of my labor?!"
When these defeating moments happen, I know that this is happening so that I can take it to the next level. Growth always happens out of pain. I reset my focus and asked what is it that I needed to learn or do in order to get to the next level. So far, that thinking has never failed me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Never give up. Always realize each time you come up against an obstacle, it is another opportunity to figure out how to do things better.
- You don't always have to be 100% prepared, with all of your ducks in a row, in order to be successful. Just say "yes," and you can figure things out along the way.
- Bring in others to help you start and grow your business. If you are just starting, use free resources like your state's Small Business Development Center or find a business or financial mentor with SCORE.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Life is too short not to go for it. Having your own business is one of the hardest things you will do but the most rewarding. I feel like I am teaching my children to go for their dreams. Nothing beats that!
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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