As I have begun walking this journey to start a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practice it has been a bit more challenging than expected. I mean, in full disclosure, I was thinking one of the most challenging things was going to be getting my logo just right. Boy was I wrong! The last several months have been full of pivoting, adjustments and challenges that I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams. I have had to rely on the tools in my stress management toolbox as well as grow that toolbox. The first hurdle was finishing school… I know that I require my space and my quiet time to recharge and that is typically when I get my most focused and productive work done. In all honesty, home (with all of it’s distractions) was NOT that place. If you are reading this in the future – please note the date… it is August of 2020, the year of insanity and shutdowns. Let’s rewind to mid-March. The really challenging part of my program was beginning. I needed my routine and my quiet recharge time, but it totally vanished. My quiet time was replaced by having kids home all day trying to do school work, a husband working from home almost full time AND finishing graduate school online IN our shared office space. Last but definitely not least, my little slice of heaven, my escape – my favorite, little, local coffee shop - was forced to go to a take-out only model. Let’s just say my stress level hit a high and I had to find a way to rebalance my world and it wasn’t a quick shift. My family and I had to find a way to all be productive and all stay sane in a constantly changing environment. My children never went back to school and my favorite, local coffee shop was eventually allowed to reopen (THANK GOODNESS) but in the meantime I had to make a few investments for my sanity. The first was setting a schedule for when and who did what. This changed weekly and required my husband and I to reevaluate and really work on our communication (this is something that is ALWAYS a work in progress in our marriage). The second was a portable hammock – I know this sounds like a ridiculous item but it gave me my own space AND it allowed me to get some much needed time outdoors and a quiet space to read and study without the distractions of being inside the house. Taking advantage of the tiniest things can make a HUGE difference in your mental health and stress management. I also had to make sure I was getting appropriate sleep and using the oils that keep me grounded (yep, I am an essential oil junky – more on that in another blog post). All of this helped but we still felt a little claustrophobic and uncertain – which is something no one does well with long term. So… we all finished school and then we completely went off the rails – the kids took advantage of all of the free time they could get their hands on, lots of outside time riding bikes, playing and just being KIDS! My husband focused on work and keeping life moving. Me… I started working on launching my practice.
So, I already told you, I was thinking a logo was going to be my biggest challenge… oh that was a challenge but nowhere near the largest challenge I faced in launching my practice and I think you will notice both logos turned out AWESOME. Starting a business is stressful enough in a normal year but doing it when the country is a hot mess is a totally different set of circumstances. I learned there are options for creating an LLC and actually becoming a business entity. The process was pretty simple, but only after a lot of research and really considering what I needed. It would have been easy to use the readily available, heavily advertised, big box options, but local was much more cost effective and gave me what I needed without all of the extra fluff and cost. Setting up the LLC was daunting at first, but the uber challenging and time consuming task was opening a bank account!! It took almost two months!! I had done my research and was looking for a small business friendly banking option that wouldn’t hit me with constant fees and that was a Credit Union. The credit union wasn’t opening new business accounts because they were focused on existing customers and making sure customers could get the PPP loans they needed (Paycheck Protection Program for those of you that aren’t aware). I think this is awesome but it definitely added to the stress of getting started because everyone talks about how you need to be smart with your business and keep your personal and business finances separate. That gets harder to do when you are unable to open your bank accounts but I did it! Next up was insurance… thank goodness they had talked briefly about this in school AND one of my closest friends is in this industry. It was super confusing and challenging and took the better part of a month to be squared away… and is still a stress point for me to be honest! If you are starting a business of any type, don’t go cheap with an industry plan unless you have fully vetted it and make sure that it covers every aspect of your business. I started down the industry plan path and realized very quickly that the cheap cookie cutter option left me uncovered and that is really scary in this sue happy society we live in – find a broker!!! If you need a referral, I am happy to share my broker’s information. You need someone that actually understands your business and, in the grand scheme of things, the monthly cost is minimal to make sure I am not wide open to risks! This was totally unexpected, but applying for insurance also required me to define my processes and practice management which was a HUGE blessing in disguise.
I know…you are thinking none of this seems that crazy, but I am a Type A person… I have become way more “go with the flow” over the years but that only goes so far. Imagine you are launching a business - and that business looks a certain way in your head - and then all of the sudden it looks nothing like you had planned or expected. Imagine being in the middle of a pandemic and your life twists and turns on the daily. Oh yeah, the major change, did I mention that I had no intention of this being an online practice 6 months ago?? I had planned to have a brick and mortar practice where I would see people, in person, and use ALL of my skills to help them. Instead I have pivoted a bit and am now working with clients online. For now, it is great, and I love my clients but wish I could give them more – it will happen, just not right now.
Now that you know I have pivoted to an online practice, let’s talk about web design and development! I had intended to hire this out when I was opening a brick and mortar because I didn’t think it would need to be maintained as heavily. Oh, how wrong I was! When I went to the online model, I decided I really needed to build my web presence myself because I needed to be able to maintain it on my own. When looking at web design options they don’t always give you all of the details of their pros and cons up front, OR I am unable to understand their lingo. This website has been built three different times on three different platforms from scratch, yep, you read that correctly THREE times! I was never so glad to be Type A. I had written all of my copy and kept it in files offline. Rebuilding was painful, but it made things SOOOO much easier to not be worried about losing things that I had put hours of my heart and soul into. The most fun experience (tongue in cheek) was learning that the platform I was using wouldn’t support a blog – the night before I planned to launch!! As you can see, that is a key item that was not optional. So there I was, recreating my third website, the night before we were scheduled to launch and 45 minutes before we were scheduled to leave for my son’s birthday dinner. . I made the choice to put my son first and go to dinner. I had faith I would get it done after he was in bed. Pushing the launch any further was not going to happen and guess what – that was July 24th and we launched the afternoon of July 25th! The experience was totally worth it and I know we are where we belong and we started right when we were supposed to. I used my tools that day and got through it - the amount of Stress Away and Build Your Dream in our office that night was enough to motivate a small army.
If you have a dream, take the leap even if it is 2020 – you are totally worthy of your dreams and I know you can do it. Use your tools, find your space and GO FOR IT!! I wouldn’t give up any of this experience or any of the hurdles because it has made me more aware of who I am and has really forced me to own it and be proud of what I have accomplished.
Totally taking the chance for a shameless plug – if I weren’t feeding my body properly and hadn’t been helped to find my tools over the last few years I couldn’t be here. If you are searching for those tools – I AM YOUR GIRL!!!
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE!!!
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Karly is a Wife, Mom, Entrepreneur, FNTP and Non-Toxic Living Specialist and Lover of Food - living in a small suburb of Austin, TX.