Karen knew her purpose was to help others from a young age, but after practicing law, she found that law wasn’t the answer. She turned to the field of health and wellness and is now fulfilling her purpose by supporting her clients with a functional nutritional approach. Her interview inspires us to take one thing at a time in building our business and not to wait until all aspects of our business are “perfect” before diving in and working with clients.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
The road ~ I knew in high school that I wanted to help others and be independent. It turned out that the practice of law wasn’t the answer. I’ve always been drawn to connecting with others on a soul-to-soul level and dissecting to their truth ~ my intuition is my 6th sense. As a youngster, I also had an appreciation for the fun and folly of food and learned over time what fuels my body and spirit best. Having a deep appreciation and joy for life, I deeply crave to inspire others to find their zest-point and claim the life they dream for themselves.
Tell us about your business or practice.
I am a functional nutrition and holistic health counselor, and work with individuals who struggle with resistant weight loss and/or chronic health issues. Functional nutrition simply means that food plays a critical role in one’s journey to health. By utilizing a holistic approach, I examine other essential factors including a client’s lifestyle, environmental stresses and genetics. I liken myself to a wellness curator. My method is step-by-step, listening keenly, educating, guiding, and holding a safe, non-judgmental space to go as deep into all aspects of a client’s life that we can. Getting to the root cause of an underlying condition is a process, and for those with more complicated issues, consults with a medical team may be necessary. My goal is for clients to learn about and embrace their duty on their path to optimal health.
In addition to one-on-one consulting, in person, by phone or via Skype, I currently present on various topics of wellness, am developing group programs, and am building a platform to inform clients on the latest developments and products available. My specialty areas include healing leaky gut, and addressing digestive and autoimmune issues.
What is your current business model?
Provide services to client 1:1 in person or virtually [primarily]
What has been one of your favorite moments as a business owner thus far?
Watching my clients make changes in their life and ‘get’ the connection with the result being a more constant widened smile on their face.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business or practice?
Staying organized is a big challenge. Balancing seeing clients & keeping track of their progress; learning how to become efficient with pre- and post-session follow up. Developing the marketing aspect – website. Marketing to professionals. It’s a long list.
Also, client compliance.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I’m working through them. Each day, chipping away. The marketing is a skill I’m learning and enjoying. The preparation for a client session and the follow up is still a time suck challenge. I put an enormous amount of time into a client, making sure that I provide excellent, tailored and thoughtful information – I think efficiency will come over time as I’ll be able to look to past clients for info. to support current clients, i.e. copy & paste for emails.
Client compliance requires patience and a re-assessment of the goals, making sure the tasks are client-generated/client-driven.
How do you find new clients?
My husband, psychologist, refers to me. Friends have been referring to me. I will be marketing on a larger scale in the next few months and networking with physicians and building an appealing site to attract prospective clients.
Working on creating a give-away to clients to build my list.
What have you found to be most effective in securing new clients to sign up for your services?
Talking with whomever I can about what I’m doing. It’s like planting a seed. The more people know about what you do, the info spreads. It will take time to grow… patience is a virtue but when you run your own business, you can’t expect others to do the job you have to do. It comes down to the adage that you will attract what you put out into the universe. Once your intentions are set, taking action follows immediately behind.
What do you do to keep your existing clients engaged in the long term?
Hmmm. So far, that hasn’t been on my radar. This will be a challenge – probably going deeper. If there are health issues, there’s a good chance they may not be completely resolved in 6 months.
As your own boss, what is your best strategy for staying focused and productive during your workday?
Taking breaks. Fresh air – walk my dog; snacks.
If you could start your business over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?
Not be in a rush to learn everything at once. Being enrolled in too many programs is counterproductive.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
So far, the mistakes I make are ones that are either ‘I could’ve said this differently’ or occur in the ‘being organized’ zone. My challenge is overcoming my need for a perfect launch and that’s delayed my ‘coming out’. Others can put together a simple site and modify as time goes on.
What are the top three business tools or resources you couldn’t live without?
Google docs, wordpress.org, survey monkey. Canva is pretty awesome too.
What has been your most effective method for growing your business?
So far the most effective method is simply sharing what I do with others. I’m not the kind of person that will stop someone in the supermarket and stand on a soapbox. It happens more organically. I was recently at a department store purchasing nail polish and asked the salesperson about the ingredients. One of the side effects of introducing my profession is possibly inspiring a small light of awareness, that what we do to ourselves [and the earth] has an impact.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your business?
Haven’t done crazy yet. But I’m not opposed to it.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Travel, Theo chocolate, Micheladas
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
Hmmmm. Don’t have a good answer here tho I love many ethnic foods – Indian, Middle Eastern, Thai, Korean, etc. Nothing like bugs. But I’ll try anything spicy.
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Marrakesh – wow. Will definitely return there.
Last book you read?
Sadly, they’re all nutrition books.
In fact, I’m bummed that I haven’t read a ‘real’ book in over a year!
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Something salty, crunchy and spicy – not even sure what that is, but this Q is getting me to consider some combinations..
What is your go-to breakfast?
2 pastured eggs fried in coconut oil on top of mixed greens tossed w/olive oil, lemon juice, s&p, sunflower seeds, and a hit of Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut
What do you find most fascinating about the human body?
How complex it is, how we absolutely have an impact on its expression. I’m particularly fascinated with gene expression and how we can strive to toggle off those ill-benefiting ones by honoring what our body craves. As I continue to learn more, my clients will benefit as well.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
Independence & freedom to express my passion
Karen Shoshana is a Nutrition & Health Counselor based out of Wilmette, Illinois. You can find out more about her and her practice, Wellness Girl, by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting her site at www.wellnessgirl.net.