As a kid I was always fascinated by the athletes and their physical abilities. It’s amazing what the body is capable of doing when it works optimally. I studied human kinetics throughout high school and university and enjoyed almost every minute of it. In 2002 I graduated with an honors degree in kinesiology but had no idea what career path to follow. As corny as it sounds my career path really chose me. I decided to work for a year in a wellness clinic to learn more about injury prevention and athletic therapy and that’s where I met Dr. Golden. A young black female doctor of chiropractor. This was an important moment for me because it was the first time I had met a black female doctor. I was immediately fascinated with her as a person and once I saw the work she did as a chiropractor, I was hooked. I wanted to be her! Fast forward almost 15 years and here I am. Doing what I love and hopefully inspiring other young women who look like me to follow their dreams.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
I tried to do what I love while working for other people, but I was never fully satisfied. I could not provide the treatment I wanted for my patients when the environment I was doing it in, did not gel with my personality or treatment philosophy. I needed an atmosphere that focused on quality not quantity of care or service. The only way I could do that by creating my clinic. When my patients come to my office the know they are in a supportive and nurturing environment. They know that they will be listened to and given the most effective treatment to address their specific needs.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdle for me was my lack of confidence as a business owner.
I knew I was a great health care practitioner, but I really knew nothing about running a business. I was held hostage by that fear for a couple for years. During that time, I worked at a clinic owned by other people and found that the environment was not always conducive to patient care but as an associate, I did not have much pull since it was not my clinic. One day circumstances forced me to leave a clinic and I had no choice but to open my own. I was thrust into business ownership. I had to gain confidence otherwise my patients would be left without care. I realized that my passion, to provide quality care and improve the health of others, was enough to get me started on my path to running a business. Using your passion to build your confidence is a skill that I continue to use anytime I am faced with an obstacle in achieving my goals.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My parents came to this country with a dream to have a better life for themselves and their children. When it came to school and finding a career, their idea of success was finding a job that you could stay at for 30 years and then collect a pension when you retired. I remember when I told my dad I wanted to be a chiropractor. His response was “Are there jobs for chiropractors? Check the classifieds!” I did and there were no jobs advertised for chiropractors, needless to say, he wasn’t a fan of the idea. I am lucky to have very supportive parents, so I knew that if I could just show them how passionate I was about becoming a chiropractor they would open up to the idea. It was one of the best decisions I made, because now there isn’t anything they won’t do to support me or my career.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I provide a service that I truly believe in.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
When I first decided to open up my own practice, the fear and uncertainty pushed me inward. I was too afraid to ask anyone for help. I was too embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what I was doing. Without any guidance I went ahead and opened up my first practice. As one would expect, I made every mistake a business owner could make. I was lucky enough to never make the same mistake twice and I managed to learn a lot from each mishap, but what I wish I did was ask for help at the very start. To anyone entering the entrepreneur field, I highly recommend seeking the advice from other entrepreneurs, better yet find a MENTOR! Do your research find someone who has achieved what you want to achieve. Ask them for help, find out what mistakes they made and how they overcame failures. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or failure, it takes strength to be able to admit when you don’t know the answer.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
-You must believe in what you do and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. No two journeys are the same.
-Stay in your lane, stay focused and you will achieve your dream.