Updated: May 11, 2021
Let me start by saying this: I wouldn’t be here without my incredible community on Instagram (thank you, I love you). But, honestly, Instagram tends to glamorize the entrepreneurial journey. And trust me when I say I didn’t get here overnight. My journey in holistic nutrition started after a lifelong struggle with chronic migraines. At one point, it got so bad that I was prescribed anti-depressants and anxiety medications as a course of treatment. Desperate for some kind of relief, I took matters into my own hands. I started researching the connection between food and my symptoms, and stumbled upon a few holistic blogs and research papers. Through my research, I began simplifying my diet, eliminating foods high in MSG, and started taking supplements. Slowly, my headaches got better and I was hooked on holistic nutrition. After finishing my fourth year at Brock University, I applied to the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and started an Instagram page (something way outside of my comfort zone). But as I gained a little confidence and started posted regularly, I realized just how many people were searching for ways to heal themselves naturally. So, I started posting consistently, I wrote a few eBooks, and started doing consultations about how to adopt a more holistic lifestyle. My best advice is to just go for it. If you think you might be good at something or want to explore it more, just do it. The only thing you'll ever regret is not trying at all. The mistakes I’ve made along my journey have made me a stronger entrepreneur today. As my followers increased, so did my drive, but I still had to make ends meet. On instagram, it probably looked like I was just living the whole entrepreneur life, but in reality, I was working full-time elsewhere + basically what felt like full time on my business. This meant my evenings and weekends were packed with working on my dream. Along the way, I worked for an organic food company, had a part-time position at lululemon, and even put in a few hours a week at a juicery. For a long time, I didn’t know if making my business my full-time job was possible. What I did know is that I didnt like working for someone else. I wasn’t being a good employee, because I was constantly distracted by my own business aspirations. As much as I absolutely loved the jobs I had, I just could’nt see myself being fulfilled by them. So, I took a leap of faith and, in a few months, I was a full-time entrepreneur. Of course, my story doesn’t end there. There was a lot of burn-out, a ton of “wtf am I doing,” a lot of mistakes and a lot of Indeed job searches along the way. And I’m still figuring it out. But I have learned a few lessons that I hope make your journey easier: Money Isn’t Everything When I launched my business full-time, I had two student loans. There was no room in the budget to hire a business coach or a photographer for content shoots. I leaned on free resources (s/o to my boyfriend and sis for being the best Instagram photographers) and did a lot of trial and error before getting things right. But I’m glad I didn’t overinvest in my business before I was ready—it helped me become more confident in navigating things on my own. Trust in Yourself I hear it all the time, “I want to do it, but I want it to be perfect.” Here’s the truth: your followers need to see you in those imperfect moments. There will never be a “perfect” time to launch a business, and building a brand that people trust requires a little humility. Get inspiration from yourself and from your audience. The more passionate you are about a topic, the more confident you’ll feel. Niche Down What sets you apart from the crowd? Nutrition is a really broad topic, and the latest food or diet trend tends to dominate the conversation. Find a topic or area of specialization that sets you apart from other practitioners and build off of it. My niche has evolved over time (yours will too), but focusing on bloating and parasite/candida cleansing has helped build a unique business my audience resonates with. Make sure that this is something you resonate with as well. I see it way too often when nutritionists will take on a niche because they see a need in the market, but don’t feel passionate about. When you love what you do, you will see a huge return. It has to come from the heart. I hope you were able to find some inspiration in this story! It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad I was able to get it out to you! Are in the process of building your business? If so, I’m SO excited for you. I’m always here to answer your questions or talk more about my journey. Get in touch or follow me on Instagram for more business tips @nourishwithjass.