After working in a traditional Western medicine model for many years, Cynthia Thurlow began exploring alternative healthcare options in an effort to help her son’s severe eczema.
Now, Cynthia runs a predominantly virtual practice as a Nurse Practitioner and Functional Nutritionist, where she utilizes Western medicine-focused labs along with her nutrition training to support women’s hormonal health.
Her interview inspires us to invest in help for our business and helps to remind us that we don’t need to do this work alone.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
Well, I worked in a traditional Western medicine model for many years, first as an ER nurse and later as a nurse practitioner. My youngest son developed severe eczema despite being solely breastfed… and when I asked the pediatrician about whether or not something I was eating was exacerbating this… he was dismissive. His reaction then spurned me to consider an alternative perspective. I read the book the UnHealthy Truth and that literally shifted my perspectives and mindset forever.
From that day forward I started to reflect on how nutrition might impact health, both in positive and negative ways. I initially considered a doctoral program (quit after 1 class), then later became a certified wellness coach and then ultimately an NTC and functional nutritionist.
Tell us about your business.
I am predominantly a virtual based practice…. both 1:1 work and group programs. I created two programs specific to female hormonal health (Wholistic Blueprint and Find Your Inner Goddess) in response to my client’s needs. I enjoy the rigor of more complicated female clients..and am well trained in the DUTCH, GI-MAP, MRT as well as more traditional Western medicine focused labs. I provide a valuable skill set to a much-neglected population.
How would you describe your current business model?
I offer 1:1 work; 2- group programs (listed above); 1-monthly recurring program (Wholistic Abundance). All of my work is virtual.
Can you share any strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective for growing your client base?
Find your niche, nurture, cultivate and find out what their pain points are and develop strategies to support them. Ensure you are growing as a clinician….challenge yourself and be a life long learner.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
Ha! As a healthcare provider, I had zero business skills, so I invested in several business coaches, a virtual assistant and a website designer. All keep me focused and on task. Also, I transitioned from a 6 figure job to making 40k my first year and then over 100K my second year, so you have to be strategic and smart about where to throw your energies. I have found the power of video on social media to be really important.
How have you overcome those challenges?
Investing in hiring experts and help…you can’t do this job well alone..and nor should you.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Don’t build a website until you are crystal clear on your niche and who you service.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
Create boundaries….the work will always be there. Ensure you take care of yourself. Self-care is critical to an entrepreneur. Ensure you have conversations with your loved ones about when you need to spend a few hours or hour on work on a weekend or the evenings…I find that I get better support when I’m upfront about extra time spent on work.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Really good bottle of wine and Hu dark chocolate!
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
Haggas….there will not be a second time!
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Safari in South Africa; Nerja, Spain….most picturesque beach and coast I have ever seen; Marrakesch was dreamy and exotic.
Last book you read?
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
What is your go-to breakfast?
I don’t…I intermittent fast, so I usually eat around 10:30am and break my fast with a big salad.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
Freedom…financial and otherwise.
Cynthia Thurlow is a Nurse Practitioner and Functional Nutritionist based out of Washington, DC. You can find out more about Cynthia and her business, CHT Wellness, LLC, by visiting CHTwellness.com.