Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alexis Atencio, Chief Operating Officer of Jernigan Nutraceuticals, located in Benton, KS, USA.

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

I believe that Jernigan Nutraceuticals has revolutionized Chronic Lyme support with cutting-edge herbal formulas and empowering techniques for healing at home. JNutra is a leading manufacturer of natural health supplements and nutritional products. Founded in 1998, the company has grown to become a trusted source of quality products that help people achieve their health and wellness goals. With a commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients, we have developed a wide range of products that are designed to support optimal health and wellness for Lyme warriors and not only. The company also offers a variety of educational resources to help customers make informed decisions about their health and nutrition. With a commitment to providing the best customer service possible, Jernigan Nutraceuticals strives to make it easy for customers to find the products they need to support their health and wellness goals.

Tell us about yourself

I was practically raised in my parents' clinic, which specialized in chronic Lyme disease. Seriously, that's where I took my first steps as a baby. And, growing up in this environment, I've always been appalled to see people who are so clearly struggling with such serious symptoms coming in and telling us that their former doctors had told them that they were just lazy, just crazy, or that they were hopeless— especially when I witnessed so many "lost causes" get well all the time. Frustrating doesn't even begin to cover it. But my point is— I believe it's high time that somebody takes what people with Lyme disease are going through seriously. Because of Chronic Lyme Disease, previously healthy individuals have been housebound & bedridden. Athletes have been benched. Parents have been unable to give their kids the necessary attention and effort. Professionals are suddenly unable to excel in work because they have brain fog. Students have dropped out. Spouses have been debilitated and little boys and girls have been robbed of a normal childhood. Lyme disease has stolen their lives, and they often feel overwhelmed emotionally, physically, and financially.

While my parents founded Jernigan Nutraceuticals over 25 years ago, I believe it's my responsibility to take up the torch alongside co-owner and my mother, Dr. Sara Jernigan, and use the transcendent formulas they developed and their 25 years of experience to help our chronically ill customers achieve drastic improvement as quickly as possible. Anything less than extraordinary will fall utterly short, so we go the extra mile in our products to maximize potency, purity, and performance because too many people are suffering without solutions.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My proudest accomplishment isn't super flashy, but I would say it's the manufacturing documentation systems I've established in everything from harvesting to extracting to filtering to formulating to bottling to shipping and everything in between. When I finally decided Jernigan Nutraceuticals was what I was officially going to do with my life after college, it was my mission to uplevel it to something that could scale better and help more people while maintaining the handcrafted richness that makes it so unique and effective. Armed only with the entrepreneurial spirit and a very tight budget, it took a lot of resourcefulness and determination to teach myself the rules of the manufacturing golden standard set by the GMP certification, figure out how to apply it to our processes, and then train my team to dot every "i" and cross every "t" of the new systems. I also reveled in how I put my out-of-the-box spin on it to make something that's very tedious easier on the people using it.

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

I would say the most challenging part about being a small business owner for me is navigating the emotional and mental weight of those moments when things aren't going as well as you want or had hoped, and knowing that the company, people's paychecks, people's lifeline supplements are all depending on you to figure out what to do to make it better. In these moments, you're fighting panic, frustration, and/or discouragement, but you still have to keep maintaining the company while also figuring out how to grow the company.

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

  1. It's not a matter of "IF" you'll lose money, but "WHEN." I would've liked to have known this upfront, so I didn't beat myself up and wanted to break down every time it happened despite my best efforts. Not all investments work out, sometimes you pay somebody to do a job, and you end up having to pay someone else to do it again the right way, and sometimes you make a mistake and have to pay a bank fee. You will have financial "failures," and it doesn't mean you suck. It's just a part of the process. They are here to teach you, grow you, and be stepping stones to your success.
  2. CHOOSE your thoughts with intention and strategy. Which thought serves you and your company better: "I am so overwhelmed. There's so much to do." OR "Bring it. I was MADE for this." "There's not enough money!" OR "I am so grateful for the money I do have. I always find a way to make ends meet." The thoughts you choose to practice will impact how you feel, the actions you take, what you say 'yes' or 'no' to, what you tolerate, how you show up, the environment you create, when you quit, and when you keep going, and more. If the most powerful and successful version of yourself isn't saying it or thinking it, don't say it or think it.
  3. Self-care is business care. Investing in yourself is investing in your business. Between someone who feels drained and stressed to the max and someone who feels vibrant and empowered, who is going to be more creative? Who is going to be able to make the most strategic decisions? Who is going to be a more effective communicator? Who is going to have their best to bring to the table? You don't have to run yourself into the ground to earn the badge of "doing enough," "working hard enough," or "wanting it the most." Resting, playing, exercising, eating well, investing in your well-being– it all greatly benefits your business.
  4. Study the greats, which for me, have been: Tara McMullin, Tim Ferriss, Tonya Leigh, Alex Hormozi, Russell Brunson, Brooke Castillo, Aprille Franks, and Ramit Sethi.

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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