Inspired by her desire to help others using a natural approach to health, Jen Simon decided to become a nutrition professional. Now, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition though the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, Jen uses functional medicine principles to support the health of her clients. Her interview inspires us to consistently network with our community and to reach out to fellow entrepreneurs to see how they run certain aspects of their business.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
Knowing that there are so many people suffering from being ill from cancer, digestive issues, mental illness or just not having enough energy, I wanted to be able to share and educate about how to heal naturally since Western medicine has not been successful in many cases.
Tell us about your business.
I am the sole proprietor of my business and I work in an office with a functional medicine chiropractor and a massage therapist. I use functional medicine principles to help my clients with health issues (digestive, blood sugar, cardiovascular, autoimmune, mental health) weight management, and disease prevention. I provide one-on-one consults, group programs, grocery store tours and meal planning.
How would you describe your current business model?
I provide individual nutrition counseling to adults and children, individuals and families. I also run group several times a year with focuses such as gut healing, weight loss, and detoxification. I am able to conduct phone or video consults to those who are out of town or ill, however most of my consults are in-person.
Can you share any strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective for growing your client base?
I participate in networking groups in my community. Getting to know people who can then recommend you goes a long way. I also get booths at health fairs and corporate health events. Community and parent Facebook pages are also helpful as members ask for recommendations and advice.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
Since I did not have a business background, I have had to learn everything from marketing to finances on my own.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I have attended seminars with marketing and social media experts and have also participated in webinars. It also never hurts to ask fellow entrepreneurs how they run certain aspects of their business. I have been known to trade nutrition services for professional advice!
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Feeling bad about charging people I know and friends full price for consults, or not including extra time spent with a client in my charges. I’ve learned that my time and knowledge is valuable and that should be reflected in my billable hours in order to sustain my business properly.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
You don’t ever have to be “salesy “(which is great for me since I don’t care for selling in the traditional sense). You need to educate with information and stories and really listen to your clients. Then they will find more success, understand why they are given certain recommendations, and trust you – so they come back.
What is your morning routine?
Wake up at 7:00, have a glass of water. After driving carpool to school, I have my breakfast and tea. I then answer a few emails and check my client schedule for the day. If I don’t have any early clients, I go to it HIIT or yoga class at my gym. Then shower, have lunch, and get to my office to see clients.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Chocolate – dark with almonds
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Costa Rica – I love the friendly and laid-back culture, the outdoor activities, and especially the focus on nature. The number of medicinal plants there is amazing!
Last book you read?
I tend to read a few books at a time:
Book for Fun – The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy Schumer
Nutrition book – A Mind of Your Own, Kelly Brogan
Personal Improvement Book – The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Dethmer, Chapman, Klemp
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Dark chocolate! But I also have to say salad with a really great homemade dressing.
What is your go-to breakfast?
Two pasture raised eggs with arugula, sides of broccoli and strawberries; dandelion root tea with coconut cream and collagen powder.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I love that I get to connect often with other entrepreneurs through networking and have really gotten to know my community. What is great personally about owning my own business is the flexibility to create my own hours, the creativity to put together programs throughout the seasons, and the ability to provide individualized recommendations to clients based on my education and research, not another company’s philosophies.
Jen Simon is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals and is based out of Superior, Colorado. You can find out more about Jen and her business by visiting www.foodworkswellness.comand facebook.com/foodworkswellnessLLC.