Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Barbara Munkel, Founder of Integrated Pathway, located in Astoria, OR, USA.

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

I really dislike calling healthcare a business, but it is the work that I do every day with great passion. I am an internationally certified classical homeopath, offering my knowledge and service to people around the world. I consult virtually (usually through Zoom), which does not limit me to any specific area or country. Classical homeopathy has been my full-time focus for over twenty-five years. I work with all ages - from babies to the elderly. Working with the younger generation is especially rewarding. I feel they have the opportunity at a young age to maintain their immune systems in a strong and powerful way, receiving the education and first-hand experience of how classical homeopathy works to a cure. Homeopathy will help acutes, such as the common cold, influenza, ear aches, sore throats, coughs, and so on, to the very difficult autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), lupus, arthritis, anxiety, clinical depression, etc. If the vital force of a person’s organism is strong enough, classical homeopathy will assist in fixing the issue.

Tell us about yourself

As with most homeopaths, past and present, I searched for alternative medicine for my own personal issue. The powerful results that came about led me to serious study and certification of this sophisticated, individualized medicine. I was a certified hypnotherapist and past life regression therapist, seeing clients and training other professionals. I found that certain issues could not, and sometimes should not, be brought out to explore. The severe depression, anxieties, and other mental health issues people came to me to help them work through sometimes reached a barrier. Utilizing classical homeopathy to assist proved to be truly amazing. I shifted my focus over the years to classical homeopathy because it truly saves a lot of mental anguish and time by just resetting the whole organism. There isn’t much that your own body can heal if caught early enough and not suppressed overly long, as the human body is an amazing machine. It knows what to do to protect us mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. Sometimes, the outer forces that hit us are just greater than we can manage. We stress ourselves, and our energy levels drop, and then our immune systems become taxed and, over time, greatly compromised. Our western medicine often suppresses the situation with chemical drugs, which take away the symptoms and can make us feel better, but the issue just goes deeper into the body because it is not properly released and healed. The human body wants to free the disease and find homeostasis; when it can’t, layers of imbalance are created. Children and animals are fairly free of these layers, and assisting them homeopathically is very rewarding on many levels. Disease does not just happen. There is a pathway that has led a person to where they are. When they reach out to me, it is my job to figure out what, when, and how they got to where they are now. It is like a puzzle. Each situation is unique. And to have many, many people truly heal and gain back the quality of life and good health is my greatest reward.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is still being in business after twenty years! It’s extremely hard to be a sole proprietor. It’s very hard to do what you do best and cover all the needs of having to run it as a business. I am lucky that I have an accounting degree and work experience as an accountant in both the private and corporate sectors. It is a good basis to manage my business and still focus on the passion part of what I do to help others heal. Referrals are my greatest success.

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

When you are self-employed, you have to wear many hats or find others to help in your weakest areas. Usually, sole proprietors like the control and usually work very well alone. For me, the hardest thing is marketing. Selling myself is not my style. What I focus on is educating people. There is a need to open a person’s awareness to know that there are validated options in health care. In my line of work, homeopathy is often misunderstood and misrepresented. When others say that it is not proven or ineffectual, or there is no scientific evidence to prove it works, it saddens me to how much we are left in the dark for the purpose of money and greed.

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

No matter how good you are at what you do, running a business needs a person to be grounded in business knowledge. The idea of sharing what you do with others is positive, but if you cannot support yourself in doing this, it will be a disaster. It doesn’t always take a lot of investment money, but it does take research on what you want to sell, who you want to sell it to, and how you can best go about doing this in your particular situation. There will be ups and downs and days when you feel totally overwhelmed. Keep focused on your goals, stay organized, and hope the economy can support your dream.

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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