Inspired by her own experience of thriving in spite of health challenges that traditional medicine could not address, Maryann Stone became a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach. She now works primarily with clients experiencing cognitive and depression issues, with a focus on hormone balance, diet, and exercise to help them thrive without dependence on medications.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
My inspiration comes from thriving in spite of difficult health challenges that traditional medicine could not address. People in my family have not listed longevity as a strong trait, followed by depression as another genetic “gift” that drives my resilience in health.
I have never taken my health for granted and have educated myself on current science for decades. Now, I share both my informal and formal education with people who want to thrive and sustain themselves without dependence on certain medications.
Tell us about your business.
My business is personal. The space I create is sacred and safe, where I meet each individual “where they are” emotionally, intellectually and physically in their life journey. Our work begins with a conversation about life; goals, challenges; what worked well in the past and where the person sees themselves going forward.
I typically work with cognitive and depression issues, which inevitably leads to hormone balance, diet and exercise. I have clients who have been “retired” from their careers and we are working on how to manifest a new future.
I work with a couple practitioners locally in southern California, but I am moving to Washington State in June 2018 and expect those relationships to change and expand to include new ones.
How would you describe your current business model?
Most of my clients are virtual, but some have face-to-face meetings. One program for groups is under development.
Can you share any strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective for growing your client base?
I have adopted a slow-growth model that evolves organically through referrals. I have a lot on my plate and want to make sure I am available to provide my clients with the time they need.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
Inertia is a big one to start with. As I am completing my bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in healthy nutrition and wellness, my time is at a premium. Learning how to balance starting a practice in a new field while also completing my bachelor’s program at my age has been a significant challenge.
How have you overcome those challenges?
Discipline and focus are the cornerstones of how I make this work. I am blessed with this window in time where I can finish the degree and gain new clients as I transition to devoting time to my business exclusively.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
Choose what you want to work on, rather than trying to work with everything. In other words, narrow the scope of practice and cultivate your expertise along with your client base.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
Do not give up.
What is your morning routine?
Organic coffee with cream as I read the newsfeed on my mobile. Flipboard is a good aggregator of news.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Spending too much time on Flipboard and the occasional pizza from my favorite place.
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
I am not that adventurous when it comes to “exotic” foods. I tend to think in terms of bugs and other critters as exotic and if I have eaten any of those, it has definitely been by accident or without my knowledge.
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
China first, then Switzerland. Both places are memorable for different reasons. In China, I visited two Daoist monasteries. One in the south and one in the north. The countryside was lovely, food was all-macrobiotic (they grew it organically onsite), but the philosophy between the south and north could not have been more different. And of course, there is the Great Wall!! Very peaceful up there.
Switzerland was simply beautiful. I enjoyed Lausanne along Lake Geneva and the various world organizations in Geneva. Having tasty water from plentiful public fountains was a big plus during my 3-week summer visit.
Last book you read?
Nomadlandby Jessica Bruder. It is about people who live in RV’s or other motorized vehicles and migrate around the U.S. for work. As with any good book, I wanted to know more when I finished reading.
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Tough choice. My background in nutrition will not let me choose just one kind of food, but I choose to follow a Paleo-style eating pattern.
What is your go-to breakfast?
I make this microwave version of bacon, eggs and cheese omelet that is yummy, nutritious and fast. I posted pictures of it on my Instagram account: @maryann.stone
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I like the freedom to choose how I spend my time and with whom.
Maryann Stone is a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach. You can find out more about Maryann and her business, Healthy Lifestyles Coaching, by visiting facebook.com/HealthyLifestylesCoaching.