Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ellen Goldsmith, co-founder of Pearl  Natural Health, located in Portland, OR, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a Chinese medicine practitioner, author, and educator specializing in acupuncture, food as medicine, stress management, and lifestyle. I educate, consult and treat people to help them activate their sense of health and well-being. I work with anyone seeking to improve their lifestyle and health.

Tell us about yourself

I was a dancer and performer in NYC in my 20s. I needed help in improving my health and vitality, and I received Shiatsu (a form of acupressure from Japan) and started changing how I ate. My energy improved vastly, so I began a course of study in East Asian medicine, food as medicine, acupuncture, and herbs because I wanted to understand it and learn how to help others. I eventually entered graduate school and received my master's degree in East Asian medicine and became board certified and licensed in acupuncture and Chinese herbalism.

I wanted to bring the common sense beauty of Chinese medicine to everyone where it matters most: the kitchen. I wrote Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: +175 Recipes for Optimal Health to bring an accessible book with delicious seasonal recipes for everyone.

What keeps me motivated? Knowing that I can be of service in helping people cultivate their health and well-being.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It is always measured by how much I can empower people to improve their health. Witnessing people's courage in making changes is always wonderful. There have been numerous patients who felt such great improvement in their lives with Chinese medicine that they went on to study it themselves: that is always so extremely satisfying.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Balancing everything - the day-to-day work, the big picture, and vision, the business end while maintaining the integrity of all I do while making sure I care for my own health and well-being - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be clear about your vision and get help in creating a plan.
  2. Follow your interest, knowing that it will keep you engaged and motivated.
  3. Get a trusted team of advisors and mentors. No one does it alone.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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