Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elise Doppel, Owner of Nutritional Foundations, located in Sterling Heights, MI, USA.

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

My business is a private nutritional therapy practice where I see people in a one-on-one capacity tackle health issues and weight loss to get to a sustainable place without gimmicks or a diet-culture mentality. I see men and women of all ages, life experiences, and health goals!

Tell us about yourself

I've been passionate about nutrition since graduating from college in 2012. Removing processed foods and identifying food sensitivities sent my health issues straight into remission, and I lost some unnecessary body fat just by altering my diet. Once I factored in healing support, lifestyle modifications, and functional movement, the rest was history. As a result of this life-changing experience, I decided to get a Master's degree in Public Health and pursue a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification.

The day after graduation, I opened my doors to new clients and have never looked back! What motivates me is knowing how good I can help someone feel just by learning to tune into their body's signals and methodically putting good habits in place. This work is not a quick fix, but it's a long-term, sustainable one.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest -- and most proud -- accomplishment is my 100% success rate with my clients. Every single person who has worked with me has been discharged from my services in a healthier and lighter place than they were when they first contacted me. I love sharing this awesome stat because this work truly changes lives.

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

It can be difficult to juggle all the things required of an entrepreneur—administrative work, following up on specific items at specific times, working with an accountant or personal assistant, and trying to budget and price services accordingly, it can be a lot. But just starting, as imperfect as it may be, is the only way to learn and get through it.

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

Taking imperfect action, as I mentioned before, is the most important step for any new business owner. Nothing is going to be "just right" the first time around, and if you wait until things ARE "just right," you will probably be waiting forever. I am constantly editing and tweaking the way I do things in response to my clients, the world, and the changes going on around us at all times.

Next, I would say that you don't need to continually learn more or earn certification after certification to be worthy or experienced enough to open your doors. This kind of goes along with taking imperfect actions, but it's worth its own spotlight because many of us feel this "impostor syndrome" where we don't feel good enough to do what we're doing or that we're not the best expert on the block. The truth is, you probably aren't the best expert, but that's okay ---the point is not to be the one-stop-shop for all the things but to run things the way YOU are meant to run things. Your approach will be just right for the right people.

Lastly, I'd say we don't expect to move mountains financially in your first three to five years. Depending on your industry, it can appear that jumping right in leads to an immediate six-figure income, and that's just not realistic. It's easy to feel like we're struggling or behind or doing something wrong when all the "professionals" out in the world or on social media appear to never have a bad day. Just know this isn't reality—all entrepreneurs struggle in the beginning, and it's normal for your business to need time to truly take off and be self-sustaining. Patience and continuing to show up every day are what will get you there.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

In today's day and age, it can seem like everyone and their mother is starting their own business and that the world doesn't need one. More. Entrepreneur. But really, it does. Your market is not oversaturated. You do bring something different and necessary to the table. The world needs your business and your approach to your specialty. Don't question it for one second! Confidence is key!

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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