After her own frustrating experience of struggling with hormone imbalance and receiving no beneficial assistance from her doctor, Jill Troderman decided to go to school for holistic nutrition and figure out what was going on with her own body. Now, she is an award-winning certified holistic clinical nutritionist, educator, and entrepreneur that helps women, children, and families improve their health and wellness. Her interview inspires us to have fun with our work and to block-schedule our tasks to help with productivity.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
My health and the health of my children were absolutely the inspiration for me to pursue a career in the field of holistic nutrition. It all began when I had bouts of hormone imbalance after my children were born. I sought help from my traditional western trained doctor however she only had pharmaceuticals, specifically antidepressants, to offer me. Since I was not “depressed” but suffered with PMS a few days before my period I knew my problem could be addressed with foods, nutrition or supplements. Yet, I didn’t know how to address it or where to begin. I was so frustrated and angry that I called up the doctor and fired her over the phone. It was in that moment, along with a flash of insight, that I decided to go to school in holistic nutrition to figure out what was going on with me!
Tell us about your business.
I am an award-winning certified holistic clinical nutritionist, educator and entrepreneur. My core passion is to support women, children and families on improving their health and wellness by embracing a holistic lifestyle and by eating healthy foods.
To support my mission to educate, empower and inspire kids to “Eat a Diet as Unique as You Are” I created The Food Tree Guide to Holistic Nutrition.
I have taught my program to over a thousand people for almost a decade and now am finally having all my lessons printed for others to use and to teach. I built this program for families, nutritionists, physicians, therapists, sports coaches, and school teachers to use. Along with the lessons, I provide interactive Food Tree magnetic boards that come with over 100 food and activity magnets and have 2 different educational posters that feature characters I have created called Nutritia, Vita Boy and Nutrition Vampire! How fun is that!
Finally, I make a line of medicinal herbal teas that I blend for different conditions. I love playing with and using plant medicine.
How would you describe your current business model?
I have a few different revenue streams. I like to keep it interesting!
I offer traditional holistic nutrition counseling at The Urban Sanctuary Center and Yoga Studio in Santa Cruz, CA and from my private home office, or by phone.
One of my favorite ways to support folks is by teaching classes. I am introducing a new program called 90 Days to Optimal Weight and Wellness for Moms beginning in October. I love bringing people together to share a common goal. It is a beautiful way to see and support true transformation and healing.
Can you share any strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective for growing your client base?
The majority of my clients come to me via referrals or from capturing them after I do a presentation or teach a class. I would say getting in front of people either online or in person is the best way to grow your client base. I dream of a day where a line would form out my door of people to work with. Sometimes I feel that I am underutilized and would love it if could help thousands more folks than I currently am.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
The biggest challenge I face in running my business is keeping to my daily schedule. It is easy to stay on track if I have clients during the day but when I need to work on a writing project I may tend to find myself cleaning out my desk drawer instead. Keeping the office space in good feng shui order IS important to success, ya know! But keeping on track with my business plan is certainly more fulfilling.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I do my best to honor my time when I say I am going to do things. I plug my tasks and to do items into the calendar and do my best to stick to my schedule for the week. I create chunks of time to do certain things, like write on certain days and see clients on certain days. Tactically, I often leave my phone in another room so as not to be tempted to answer the call, text or email while I am working. Also, I bring in humor to my work day and joke with people as appropriate to keep life fun while also taking my time and work seriously.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
One of the first mistakes I made was jumping 100% in to my new role by renting office space in a shared clinic pretty much the day after I got my nutrition certificate. First, I would have done a more soft approach, perhaps being an apprentice or getting my feet wet without accruing a financial burden with zero client flow!
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
Do not wait until everything is 100% perfect to execute your plan otherwise you will never do it.
What is your morning routine?
Upon waking I think of a handful of gratitudes. Then, I greet the day sitting by a big picture window while enjoy organic French pressed coffee. Next I meditate for a few moments. Finally I stretch and go for a walk after I eat a nice hot breakfast. Then get to work!
What is your favorite indulgence?
My favorite indulgence would have to be enjoying good quality dark chocolate. Sometimes it’s dark chocolate with almonds, sometimes it’s with sea salt and sometimes it’s with dried raspberries! All good to me.
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
Hmmmm. That is a tough one because I think most folks identify exotic foods with some sort of meat or insect. I eat a vegetarian/vegan diet so I don’t want to disappoint anyone. So, I will humbly say that the most interesting exotic thing I’ve eaten would be dim sum in China. And yes that would be veggie dim sum!
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Last book you read?
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. This was a fun romp I could totally relate to.
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
First thing that comes to mind is healthy food! But to have a little more fun I’d say some sort of vegetarian pot pie or croissant with cheese. With organic whole wheat, of course.
What is your go-to breakfast?
Vegetable stir fry with sauteed tofu, or black beans over corn or whole wheat tortilla or brown rice, with salsa or salad. Maybe a little added cheese depending on my constitution for the day. One of my personal sayings is “I am almost vegan!”
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
One of the aspects that I love about being an entrepreneur is having the creative freedom to explore different areas of my business without feeling limited by other people’s judgements, agendas, expectations or issues.
Jill Troderman is a Holistic Nutritionist and Nutrition Educator based out of Soquel, CA. You can find out more about Jill and her business, Holistic Family Nutrition and The Food Tree Guide To Holistic Nutrition Curriculum, by visiting Santacruzholisticnutrition.com.