Larn came into the field of natural medicine after some years of failing to see results with conventional medicine for her personal health issues. She earned a degree in Nutrition and Herbal Medicine, became a Naturopath and now helps others to understand what is holding back their health. Her interview inspires us to embrace working hard, but to refrain from being hard on ourselves.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
It is fair to say I only became open to natural medicine by being “forced to”!
Meaning that conventional medicine did not have answers to my health issues (asthma and eczema). So eventually after many years, I tried something else…and I haven’t looked back.
Tell us about your business or practice.
As a Naturopath, I am degree trained in Nutrition and Herbal Medicine. I use a combination of natural therapies to help people. Their issues may be symptoms like food sensitivities, low energy, getting sick too often or they can be emotional or stress related, too. Sometimes people don’t know what is holding them back but I help them work out what it is!
What is your current business model?
Currently I work 1:1 [with clients].
What has been one of your favorite moments as a business owner thus far?
Hearing back from clients that their problem that was driving them mad is better, is like gold to me!
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business or practice?
Knowing how to promote your business.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I am implementing changes that I have learnt in B-school.
I think positive networks with colleagues who are at are similar stage is great to help cheer each other on as well as provide critical feedback.
How do you find new clients?
Mainly word of mouth. However these days no-one can ignore the importance of a good website and blog to allow people to know you a little better.
I am currently working on a new, updated website.
What have you found to be most effective in securing new clients to sign up for your services?
Where appropriate, clients knowing that you have been where they have been. For example, mums who bring in their little boisterous boys for treatment often know that I have been there! I guess one way to boost that is to communicating who you are, your life experience and skills in your social media and newsletters.
What do you do to keep your existing clients engaged in the long term?
Offering a package (of consultations) is a good way to work with clients who are invested in working longer term.
As your own boss, what is your best strategy for staying focused and productive during your workday?
Have set work days and hours.
If you could start your business over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?
That’s a tough question. Your business, experience and confidence is something that has to evolve over time.
Work hard but don’t be hard on yourself, is my advice.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Expecting clients to find you if you’re good enough.
No, we have to do our part too!
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever for done for your business?
I have trained in a number of extra modalities that use muscle testing (kinesiology) as a component. This helps me work with people faster and adds new tools to my repertoire. I love it and wouldn’t be without it now. But before I knew all about it, I indeed would’ve called it (and other very alternative things) crazy!
What a convert I am.
What is your favorite indulgence?
I am such a dark chocolate fan.
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
I backpacked around China for a month with a girlfriend. We couldn’t read most menus so most things we ate were exotic and never identified! Ha ha.
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Snorkelling with hundreds of bright tropical fish at Australia’s Barrier Reef is one of my favourite travel memories.
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
What is your go-to breakfast?
Buckwheat pancakes topped with chopped nuts, berries and a touch of maple syrup.
What do you find most fascinating about the human body?
Gastrointestinal flora! There are new research studies coming out daily about the therapeutic properties of our very own gut bacteria and how keeping it balanced means keeping us healthy.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
Freedom to make my own decisions. Sometimes I crave leadership too but I have realized there are mentors out there, so there is no need to fear being in charge!
Larn Lau Bland is a naturopath based out of Melbourne, Australia. You can find out more about her and her business, Natural Balance Healthcare, at www.naturalbalancehealth.com.au.