Today’s interview was a new experiment….a panel! Today on the podcast, I have 3 past guests who are wellness consultants and speakers – Laura Putnam, Rosie Ward and Brian Passon.

When I was thinking of going out on my own, I wanted to hear from those who have already done it but I only had a couple people who had gone on their own in the wellness space.

Today I bring that advice to you. Today’s guests have been on their own for at least 6 years and talk about what it took to be where they are today.

They tell us what made them decide to go out on their own, their “oh crap” moments and what keeps them going. They leave us with advice for anyone out there who’s looking to make it on their own in the wellness industry. I honestly was surprised by one their answers.

If you go to You Tube and watch the video interview, you’ll meet Brian’s friend Wendy Wellness and see one of his daughters bring him iced coffee. Brian never fails to keep it interesting. It was awesome!

Panelists:

  • Laura Putnam, CEO and Founder of Motion Infusion
  • Rosie Ward, CEO and Co-Founder of Salveo Partners
  • Brian Passon, Founder and President of ArchHealth & Productivity

3:16: Laura Putnam runs a company called Motion Infusion. Their mission is to get people in organizations in motion, focusing on individual behavior change as well as cultural behavior change.  Motion Infusion works with government entities, fortune 500 companies, and everything in between.

4:02: Rosie is the CEO, Co-Founder of Salveo Partners. Salveo Partners exists to re-humanize the workplace, allowing people to be able to bring their best selves to work and their best selves home. They do this through a variety of channels and work with a variety of organization types.

4:51: Brian jokes that he is still trying to figure out what he is doing in this world, but he currently works with organizations to help them figure out where they are on their journey to creating a better workplace.  Brian is sometimes called the “consultant to the consultant” because of the amount of mentoring he does.

6:12: Jen asks the panelists what their last jobs were prior to venturing out on their own.  Laura was a history teacher at an urban public high school where she learned lots of tricks that she continues to apply today.  Laura was always thinking about what she could do to create the best environment for her students to learn and flourish in.

8:14: Brian was an employee of the company he now partially owns for the first year and a half. He worked inside the insurance division which hosted wellness at that time.

9:52: Rosie was working for a wellness vendor that was contracted by Target. After receiving her MPH, she wanted to create change on a community and policy level.

10:36: Rosie explains how poor leadership and more morale sucked the fun out of wellness for her.

11:56: Rosie describes how her CFO freezing the budget on her was the moment when she said screw it and decided to go out on her own.

13:09: Sometimes you need to take a step back to refocus, refine, and clarify what you are doing.

13:46: Rosie found that the job she wanted to do didn’t exist, so it was time to go out and create it.

14:09: Jen asks Laura when her light bulb moment was.

14:54: Prior to teaching, Laura had a variety of jobs, which led her to discover what she really wanted to do.

15:14: Laura wanted to create something of her own that not only reflected who she was, but also to create something that was more meaningful than what was already out there.

16:36: Laura found that her students were much more engaged if they moved around during class, so she encouraged this.

16:46: When we move, we not only get healthier—we even get happier and smarter.

17:42: Jen asks Brian if and when he had a light bulb moment.

18:37: Brian new he wanted to venture out on his own for five to six years before actually doing it.

19:29: Brian found himself sitting with clients talking about things he really didn’t want to talk about. The excitement was gone.

19:42: Laura admits that there never really is the perfect time. If it’s something you want to do, just do it.

19:54: Brian jokes that you can never afford to go out on your own; you just have to do it!

20:57: Rosie explained how she didn’t just suddenly cut the cord. She stayed with her company for years after having the “light bulb moment”, but did consultant on the side. This helped buffer the uncertainty of income when trying to figure it out what was next.

22:24: Rosie balanced the two different jobs for 10 years because of the risk of losing benefits, but she would not suggest this to others. She faced burnout on many occasions.

22:58: Doing both jobs gave Rosie time to understand who she was, what she cared about, and what value and purpose she could add to this industry.

23:38: When you go out on your own, you have to consider benefits and logistics that aren’t so fun to think about.

24:00: Laura mentions the Thomas Edison quote, “Most miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work.”

24:13: Going out on your own is a lot of work and persistence.

24:43: A lot of people in our field like the work but aren’t crazy about the marketing aspect.

24:52: Laura states that in going out on your own you have to be willing to market, market, market! You have to build the concept yourself, manage the money, write posts, answer emails, etc.

25:23: Going out on your own requires hard work and persistence.

26:14: Jen recalls Brian’s advice to her in 2016, “Make sure you have a contract in place, that you have something in place to land on.”

26:32: Brian had already started his company a couple years prior to going out on his own. It was a little bit messy, but it helped to have something already in play.

27:05: Brian thinks that whether or not you stick with your initial plan or not, you must have something that focuses you, something to pursue.

27:44: Brian admits that he is doing things differently than he expected.

28:21: We have to continue to get out there and get our hands dirty to make sure what we are doing is really still relevant and working.

29:07: Based on everyone’s experiences, it clearly takes a lot of time and hard work to make it on your own.

30:07: Laura comments that having great friends in the field really helps; it makes things much easier.

31:45: We are able to compare notes and pricing with each other to be sure we are not undercharging or overcharging our clients. You cannot be afraid to ask those questions.

32:30: We have to know our value, and also know that it’s okay to say no if they aren’t willing to meet our prices.

33:05: Laura points out that you have to make sure you consider your audience. If you are getting paid less, but getting to speak with important clients across the US, then it may be worth it simply for networking.

36:23: You have to be open to your business evolving. When you are clear about your why, that doesn’t change. When you are clear about how you live your why, that also shouldn’t change. But the what—your products and services should change.

37:35: It’s important to know your sweet spot in the field and to be open to all opportunities.

39:48: Laura states it’s about finding a balance between really doing what you love to do, finding your sweet spot, but also really being open to those opportunities as they come.

40:53: Jen asks the panelists if they have ever had moments when they thought, “oh no, this isn’t working!”

41:14: Brian said if he is not pushing the envelope or questioning things at times, then he’s too comfortable. Optimal growth does not happen when you are comfortable.

43:52: Laura states if you are clear about your why and passionate about what you’re doing, then you will make it through the moments of discomfort.

44:26: The hard part about being an entrepreneur is that you have to be good at everything.

47:10: Jen asks the panelists what advice they would give an individual thinking about going out on their own in the wellness field.

47:25: Brian states that it is a hard road and not everyone should do this. We can’t all be out there on our own. He might tell someone not to and wait for them to push back. Those are the people we really want out there. He recommends working your quirks and having something new to add to the field.

48:46: Our industry is in a tremendous time of change. Laura agrees saying you have to ask yourself what it is you want to do and what you feel you are contributing that isn’t out there.

49:16: We need to revamp the wellness degree programs to make sure we aren’t teaching students outdated information.

49:49: You have to understand you are entering into a very unstable place because who knows what the future will hold.

51:06: Brian believes there is still a lot of opportunity our there.

51:24: Laura states that no one has truly figured out wellness yet. Millions of dollars have been put forth to fight obesity, yet we are the heaviest today that we’ve ever been. If no one else has figured it out, why can’t it be you?

52:09: We have to recognize that there is so much room in our field for creativity. You must have a growth mind set.

53:10: Thank you all for being on the podcast.