I still laugh sometimes looking back at ’80s me…traveling the world teaching aerobics, complete with pastel leotard, spandex tights, and leg warmers. (Hey, that was the style!)
Those early days were some of my best memories. Not long after, I became one of the very first personal trainers in LA, following my true passion for helping people eat right and get fit. Now, over three decades later, people often ask me, “How did you do it, JJ?”
Functional Nutrition Coaching
Turn your passion for health into a thriving career.
I can tell you it wasn’t always smooth sailing! Like a lot of new business owners, I had my trials and my setbacks. But that’s what helped me get to where I am today: a triple-board-certified nutrition expert, four-time New York Times bestselling author, and the owner of two successful businesses.
My goal has always been to empower others to make their own impact in the health and wellness world. Below are my “secrets to my success” that I’ve honed over the years and that I hope will help the next generation of wellness business owners not just succeed, but thrive:
Branding is a critical first step for any business, and especially in the fitness and nutrition space. For aspiring health coaches, I definitely recommend taking some time to really think about who it is you are trying to reach. Knowing and understanding your audience is critically important. From there, you can focus on ensuring your product or service is the best fit for their needs. Once you have a clear brand direction, you can carve out your unique niche in the industry and really make it yours.
2. Add a diversified income stream.
Being a successful entrepreneur means never limiting yourself. Always be on the lookout for new revenue sources that can help your business grow—especially new offerings that will help your clients achieve their goals faster and easier. Online apps and tools, books and courses, group programs, and membership resources are all great examples. Pay attention to client feedback and recommendations. That cooking class or fitness retreat could be your next big income stream!
Self-promotion can be hard when you’re just starting out—and even harder to figure out where to begin. Nowadays, marketing is leaps and bounds ahead of where it used to be, and nearly everything happens digitally. My advice is to put yourself out there and find ways to get your message heard. Personally, I love talking about fitness and nutrition, and it turns out it’s a great way to generate buzz for your business! Be a guest on TV shows and podcasts, do book speaking engagements, and look for endorsement opportunities that can help you promote your brand.
4. Solidify your foundation.
This step is all about creating the rock-solid foundation that will keep your business chugging along while you’re out there doing what you love—and hopefully making a profit! A lot of new business owners think they can handle it all, but I promise it’s a lot easier with the right team behind you. You’re going to need legal support to start because whether you’re writing a book, selling products, or speaking at events, you need to make sure your brand (and your bottom line) is always protected. Financially, you’ll want to create a strong business plan from the get-go, with quarterly, annual, and three-year goals, and have someone in charge of tracking key metrics and profit margins so you can keep growing and scaling.
5. Scale to sustainable success.
Congratulations! You’re the owner of a thriving wellness business! Now what? This step is about putting it all together and building on the strong foundation you created. Scaling means finding new opportunities to accelerate growth. Remember when we talked about adding new income streams? Think about new products, online programs, and other ways to boost revenue. Another way to scale is by widening your niche to appeal to a broader audience, or try engaging with new customer segments. Buying an established brand and making it your own is another great way to scale. So is ramping up your promotion efforts with new platforms, new advertising outlets, and new ways to boost customer engagement.
The most important piece of advice I have for wellness coaches is this: Take action.
This means ignoring the naysayers (especially the ones in your head!) and following your passion. Sure, one in 10 new businesses make it (and only a fraction of those are women-owned), but if I’d let myself get bogged down by statistics, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Of course, you’re going to have some setbacks along the way, but that’s life. If something gets in your way, change course and try another route! The wellness industry is constantly evolving, and we as business owners can’t afford to sit still. Just remember, I’ve been at this for nearly 40 years, and it took me at least 25 of those years before I really had things figured out.