Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diane Hatz, CEO and founder of Whole Healthy Group LLC., located in Santa Fe, NM, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Whole Healthy Group has two separate arms - we’re a consulting company for socially-minded businesses, offering strategy, campaign planning, and writing services. We’re also a growing online resource for individuals interested in health, wellness, and spirituality. In 2020, I started the Whole Health Journal to build a community of people who want change on both the inside and out.
Tell us about yourself
I spent over twenty years as a healthy food advocate - I ran a nonprofit that recently retired (Change Food®), educated consumers about sustainable and healthy food for decades, produced an animated short called The Meatrix on problems with factory farming, and even got to travel cross-country eating pie to promote sustainable food. I was also the founder and organizer of TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” - the only TEDx focused specifically on food.
Over the past several years, I’ve started feeling that we’ll never be able to create a healthy food system for everyone until we work on both ourselves and the world around us. So while I still work on issues like regenerative food and finding ways to provide healthy food to everyone through my consulting work, I’m becoming more and more interested in inner transformation.
I started a Substack called Whole Health Journal in order to explore this more. I believe that food and connecting us to the earth are spiritual practices. I believe that hunger and food injustice will not change until we all change ourselves.
What excites me is pursuing this concept. Looking at my spiritual practice and how I can inspire others to be inner and outer activists in whatever field they are drawn to, whether it’s climate change, food insecurity, the homeless epidemic. There are so many ways to help others and help the planet. I think more focus needs to be put on the inner work also. So bringing those two together excites me, as does finding ways to ethically monetize what I’m doing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment was having the courage to start my own business. I’m a solopreneur currently, and it took some time to build the strength and courage to leap into entrepreneurship. And, I must say, there is no turning back.
From my nonprofit work, I think my biggest accomplishment was starting a community fridge and pantry in New York City. We’re still providing healthy food to 2,000 or so people a week. I moved to Santa Fe a year ago, and I’m excited to see that Reunity Resources has started its own fridge.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think the hardest thing is self-care. I can work fourteen hours a day and not move, eat, or take a break from the computer. It’s not healthy. I now force myself to walk away and take breaks, to get outside in the sun, and to realize that I need a life away from my work. It takes effort, but I’m getting better at road trips and going for a hike. Living in New Mexico makes it much easier now!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Join a business accelerator. Santa Fe Innovates is an excellent one - and, so far, it’s been free or low cost. You can be growing your business anywhere in the world, so you don’t have to live in Santa Fe to participate. You’ll learn a lot quicker by doing this, and you’ll meet other entrepreneurs like yourself.
- Shut off technology and breathe. Working 24 hours a day doesn’t make you successful. Do you have to work hard? Sure. But make sure to carve out a personal life also. Road trip, hike, do things that connect you with nature and other people. That will help recharge your soul and give you more energy.
- You are not your job. No matter how successful or unsuccessful you are at your business, do your best not to let it define you. You are much more than your work. Always remember that. And always be grateful for all that you have.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you're interested in whole health, please join the Whole Health Journal! https://wholehealth.substack.com/
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.