Since I've already written about 9 things I've learned in business and the 10 most common questions I get asked as a wellness entrepreneur I wanted to share some reflections from the last ten years and what it has taught me both from a business and a personal perspective.
Joyous Health has come a long way over the past 10 years! When I first started Joyous Health, I was a sole proprietor and a one-woman show. That was until 2013 when Walker (my hubs) joined me full-time and Joyous Health became two. Joyous Health has since grown to a team of four with the addition of our creative guru, Carol, and our Community Manager, Rachel. We will soon become five as we will be adding a new person to the team (and technically 6 if you include our boss, Vienna!). It's really amazing to see how the business and the team has grown over the years and I feel super grateful for everyone that has helped Joyous Health get to where it is today.
If you're curious to read more about my wellness journey and why I started Joyous Health in the first place (or see what I look like without bangs haha!), you can learn more over on my about page.
Reflections on 10 Years of Joyous Health
i Became more flexible with myself and others.
In the physical sense, my flexibility is average at best (haha!). But in the philosophical sense, I have most definitely become more flexible! When I first became a nutritionist, I was much more rigid with my diet and fitness routine than I am now and I projected that same rigidity on my clients. This has changed a lot over the last decade and that rigidity did not last; not due to laziness by any means, but due to wanting to live a full, enjoyable life.
What I mean is that in the past, I would have avoided ALL forms of dairy like the plague, only ate 100% organic food and would never miss a workout. This has all changed! Even though I don't gorge on cheese, I LOVE manchego and I do my best to eat mostly organic, but I don't beat myself up about it if I got out to eat a restaurant and they don't serve organic food.
Because news flash: Most restaurants don't serve 100% organic food! I also don't feel guilty if I miss a workout or don't get my 10,000 steps in.
I learned that People don't change because you preach; people change because they want to.
In the early days of being a nutritionist, I would be so vested in my client's success that I felt like a failure if they were not meeting their own wellness goals. So much so, that if someone blamed me for not succeeding (it happened a handful of times), I felt so deeply disappointed that at times I felt like throwing in the towel on one-on-one consultations.
I came to the realization that if they didn't succeed, it's because they weren't ready — and that's when my entire practice evolved.
From that point on, I had such a high success rate with all my clients that it became incredibly enjoyable. I also implemented an agreement that my clients would have to sign to work with me stating "I am responsible for positive change and I am ready for change".
I eventually stopped doing one-on-one nutrition consultations at the beginning of 2017 because I wanted to grow the online business and reach a wider audience. Letting go of my practice was very hard to do but I'm so glad I did it because Joyous Health wouldn't be where it is today if I was still putting energy towards the one-on-one consultations. I still miss it from time to time, especially working with women who are trying to get pregnant and pregnant mamas, but now I can help them in other ways like with my writing, speaking and programs!
I learned to Just say no.
This point could literally have a whole blog post decided to it! I will try and keep this one as short as I can.
Having my own business when it was just me required a LOT of sacrifices, especially with my social life. In the first two years, I felt burnt out from the pressure I put on myself to be successful and how much I was working being both a nutritionist (mostly building the business – content creation, social media, doing free talks etc) alongside personal training.
I would constantly say yes to invites, whether it be social or business, and when the event or social gathering arrived, I was so exhausted from life that I just couldn't bear the thought of going out because I had nothing left in me.
I knew I needed to change. I decided that instead of saying "YES" to everything, including every birthday, social gathering, networking or influencer event, that I was going to say no for the sake of my health. I was going to be selfish.
The first time I did this, I was completely honest with a friend and told her that I was really exhausted and I couldn't attend her child's birthday party because I had a workshop the same day and needed a day off (basically I needed to sleep and take care of me). It didn't go over very well and that friendship has since ended because I was honest, but it taught me a lot about my friendships. I went over that situation in my head for a long time, wondering if I should have just lied and said I was sick for the sake of that friendship, but I'm glad I was honest because it proved it wasn't a healthy relationship for me.
Just say no because YOU matter. People who truly respect and appreciate you will still be there (and there will always be another event).
And just quickly, for those of you who are more established in your business, you're likely finding that opportunities are filling your inbox every single day with opportunities to try a product for free or attend an event you're invited to. My advice is to be very picky. In fact, my first response with almost every offer now is no.
This was hard for me to learn at first, because who doesn't love product and going to fun events? But this is something my hubs Walker taught me in business; to be discerning, value your own time and really evaluate every single serious opportunity carefully.
Be picky with your inner circle.
I wrote about this my first book, Joyous Health, but you become who you surround yourself with, so make sure they inspire and challenge you and vice versa. Your inner circle (aka those who you spend the most amount of time with) are the most important so it's important that they are enriching your life in some way.
I've had plenty of healthy relationships and some toxic ones over the last 10 years. I'm very proud to say that there is not a single person in my life who is close to me that I don't completely adore! All my friendships are reciprocal – I admire my friends and they admire me. I'm 41 now, so yes, this took me a while to figure out, but once I did, not only did my business become more successful, but I met the love of my life, Walker.
So be picky with your friends and your family. I know you can't choose your family but some family members and friends are negative forces in your life. It's best to distance yourself from these people for the sake of your own health.
Emotional detoxes and detoxing your social circle is something I address in my online program, Joyous Detox Online, because it's so incredibly important for your overall health and all aspects of your life!
There's no such thing as luck.
I believe it was an Obama speech that I first heard about the idea that success has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with your own preparedness.
In other words, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
I tried to find the exact quote on google but couldn't find it, so if you have the quote or a link to the speech I'm referring to, please post it below as I would love to read or hear it again.
Did you know my first TV opportunity was with Bryce Wylde, as in Bryce of the TV show Wylde On Health? I loved it! He had the most informative guests and it fed my love of all things natural health. One day I was watching it and I thought, you know what? I'm going to tweet him on Twitter and see if he responds – so I did. I said, "Hey Bryce, I would love to be on your show". After harassing him over a series of tweets, he responded with "okay, send me your proposal". And in my mind, I was like "ooooooooh shit".
I put together a segment proposal on healthy holiday eating and he didn't have a clue (nor did the producer) that I had ZERO TV experience. You might think it was luck that happened, but it was just a matter of being prepared at the right time when there was an opportunity.
If you want to see my first television appearance ever, you can watch it here. I've never been so nervous in my life. I felt like I was having an out of body experience! That being said, I would have never been able to do it if I hadn't started my own YouTube channel the year prior. It really helped me get comfortable being in front of the camera. And just for the heck of it, here's my first ever YouTube too haha. Oh boy ...
i can't do everything myself and that's okay.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Joyous Health started as just me for a few years. Carol worked with me on a project basis developing the creative elements of my business and then Walker joined me full-time in 2013.
Before that, there were definitely many times I was struggling to do it all myself but it made me the person I am today. I talk about this in the Joyous Health Business Program specifically, about knowing when to pay someone and when to be resourceful and do it yourself. These are often the conversations that come up in our Weekly Coaching Calls throughout the 12-week program.
Side note: I can't believe I used to create my marketing materials (I'm embarrassed to say) in Microsoft Publishing! Does that even still exist?! Haha!
If you have haters, you're doing something right!
Not everyone is going to agree with everything you share or your every belief, and as you become more successful, there are people out there who may feel jealous and envious — and these emotions tend to bring out the WORST in people.
I've certainly had unkind comments on my YouTube channel over the years and people saying nasty things on social media to me, or about me.
But compared to all the goodness out there, those haters are outnumbered a thousand times over.
Your value is not measured by your social media followers.
It's so easy to get caught up in other people's success and it's also the fastest way to slow down your own growth. When I would see other wellness entrepreneurs thriving and kicking ass, sometimes it made me feel like I wasn't working hard enough.
That's how social media works, though. It always seems like everyone else is doing way better than you, having way more fun than you and killing it in life and business. Maybe sometimes that's true, but most of the time it's not. We are all here just trying to live our best life and making a living doing what we love. So if you haven't already read my 8 Ways to Have a Healthy Relationship with Social Media I think you'll find some valuable insights in there!
This is why you've got to remember that your value is not measured by your social media following. From a business perspective, what matters most on social media is the quality of your community, NOT the quantity.
I DIDN'T HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT (and still don't).
People often assume I've had my shit together since day one. Well, I didn't. When I graduated from nutrition school in 2009, the only thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want to be getting up at 5 a.m. to personal train just so I could pay bills. It's not that I disliked mornings, but 5 a.m. is still the night in my opinion. I'm more of a 7 a.m. kind of gal :). Other than that, I told myself that in one year's time, my sole focus would be to work in the nutrition field doing public speaking, writing and one-on-one consultations.
I didn't have a crystal ball. I didn't have a clear path of how'd I would get there, nevermind get to where I am today. I had NONE of that figured out. But it came together, I believe, because I went with the flow. Everything I've accomplished at Joyous Health has happened right when it was supposed to — nothing was forced. But yes, I did work hard for it.
People often assume that it's all been so easy or that I've been lucky. Those are people who don't know my history. I believe luck is nothing more than being prepared when the opportunity comes knocking (as I've already touched on).
When I started out, I was just as freaked out about how I was going to pay my bills as you might be if you're starting your own business. So no, I didn't have it all figured out. Nor did I have it all figured out when we had Vienna or when we had a miscarriage or when we've had other life-altering moments. I figured it out as I went along, made some mistakes and got some things right.
So there you have it, my friends! Some reflections on having this blog for 10 years. Share any thoughts with me below, I always have hearing from you – and thank you for being here and supporting me over the years. Joyous Health wouldn't be what it is today without you!