Today we are featuring Joanna Chodorowska of Nutrition in Motion, LLC in our Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur Series.
Nutrition in Motion helps you will nutrition for mind, body and spirit. Joanna helps to inspire athletes to reach their health and performance potential, find inner peace, and balance. Learn more about Joanna and her business in the below interview and after the interview connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
What does your business do?
I help empower athletes and individuals to honor their body’s needs physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I help uncover the causes of physical conditions and create balance so the body can thrive in love, joy, fun and fulfillment.
Who is your target audience or market?
Endurance athletes and individuals wanting to find holistic solutions to their physical symptoms. There is always more than just the symptoms, and I can find those answers to bring the body back into balance on all levels.
What year did you start your business?
What were you doing before starting your business?
Worked in water treatment and chemical sales, but was a nutrition junkie.
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
I work in my home. My finished basement is now my office where I see clients for nutrition, Nutrition Response Testing, BIA testing andmore, while my energy work is done in my living room since the space naturally lends itself to that type of work in that corner of the house. I create a safe space for clients to discuss all their issues.
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
Finding my niche of sport nutrition and later incorporating the healing work into the nutrition practice. It was a hard transition for me at first, but with more healing, more letting go of belief systems, I was able to incorporate the idea that nutrition is for the body physically, but for the mind, and soul as well, not just the sport. Doing my own energy work, The Path To Heal, asking God for assistance and just staying true to who I am at my core. I am an intuitive healer helping my clients resolve issues affecting their health and well-being. Embracing my intuitive or sometimes ‘woowoo’ side was hard, but it is who I am.
What would you say your biggest failure has been?
I don’t look at what I have done as failures. They have all been stepping stones to learning how I need to do things. Often it seems the lessons are being repeated, but it is really a reflection of needing to learn another step and never letting go of the vision or the persistence. I have always been the eternal optimist, so even when things are not quite right, I can realize that I need some analysis of the situation and the answers come forward.
What did you learn from this failure and how have you changed things to prevent this from happening again?
Well, I kind of answered that in the previous section. But I guess I need to answer one in particular? The one failure was debt and spending related. Years ago, just before my business started, I was making a great income and loved what I did. Starting my own business wasn’t what I thought I would ever do. But downsized a few times, and I was finally able to go pursue nutrition coaching……but I still thought I was making this amazing salary but i was not. I didn’t curb some of the spending since I was starting the business, and when the economy tanked, I had been swayed to refinance and also do some creative rolling the credit card debt into the new mortgage. Looking back, I needed to be told – uhm, you need to get yourself onto a budget young lady! But that was something I am not sure I would have heard as I was mentally someplace else. So years later, I still have a lot of that debt, and the income has never really quite come back to pre-2008 levels, but at least I have control of my spending now, and the debts are being taken care of. I learned also not to beat myself up for this past mistake. It is a mistake. I am human, and I love myself still despite the mistakes. It can still be embarassing sometimes, but it is what it is. And I have totally learned to live on a budget lower than I had ever expected!
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
Finding new clients on a regular basis and finding the opportunities within social media and other places. Since I ‘fix’ people, I am always working my way out of clients since they learn what they need at the time until the next crisis. Being creative and looking for opportunities to share my knowledge while doing it all myself…..THAT is the challenge. Finding the balance, too between work and play so I can still take care of my own needs so i can then help others take care of theirs.
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
Omg, yes, probably several times! Biggest time was after the economy crashed and I had the realization that I had $70K in credit card debt and the business was tanking. I had a heart to heart talk with my father and he helped me redo my resume. i cried for a week! That was probably one of the hardest weeks of my life. A big part of me did not want to let go of what I was creating, even though I was stuck in a rut. So I did go interview and spend time in the water treatment arena….and strangely enough, the clients started coming in as well for nutrition. God was telling me something! Go do what makes your heart sing…..and so I stayed with the nutrition coaching business and was never able to really get back into my past life work.
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur?
Being able to do whatever it is I want with my business. I have been able to really create what I want and experiement with options or how to do things. I have learned more about who I am and who my favorite clients are and which is my favorite way to work with each one of them. I still love the autonomy of it, yet I love also being involved with networking groups and being social, doing FB live videos, talks and other means of social media and gaining visibility.
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur?
The inconsistency of sales. Love the flows, but not the ebbs as much. I often do wish that I could have a salary with guaranteed income each week. And sometimes I get more than what I want, but then other weeks it is not where I want it to be. I have accepted the ebbs and flows and no longer fear the ebbs. I just get on with it! Ha
How have you funded your business? How long has it taken you to see a profit?
I think I funded the business with credit cards, so I have seen some profit but not enough yet consistently to pay off all those debts I originally incurred. I know it will come but it has been a small challenge to be able to pay them all off without incurring new ones like the new furnace for the house, or a new car when the old one died, or new iPad for editing movies and new printer, etc. I get ahead a teeny bit every month, some months really far, others not as much. So I have seen a profit and I have now been steadily increasing that while lowering the spending at the same time.
Did you always see yourself owning a business? If so, is this the business that you thought you would be owning? If not, what did you think you’d be doing?
I actually NEVER saw myself as a business owner. Yet the business just kind of happened and I see that everything that I was doing before, was leading me to be a business owner. I was in sales, but I was also my own sales department within so many companies where I had to start the business locally. I was able to take what I knew from that experience and take it straight into the new business I was creating. I still have a challenge with marketing as I am more sales naturally and doing vs planning. I find it a challenge to figure it all out and see what works for me, my unique business and how I can get the message out there.
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years?
Oh, good question! I see it being more self-sustaining. I see myself doing more speaking engagements not just to sports clubs and groups, but empowerment groups. I see myself having assistants to help do the background things that I do not like to do so I can have more time spending it with clients or out speaking. I see myself having the 3 clients per day and group energy classes being filled. I am working now on partnerships as well, which for years has been hard to do. Buidling the partnerships will help with having my inner circle of practitioners to work with and to refer clients to regularly. This year is my year to build them so the self-sustaining client opportunities and speaking engagements can become a reality.
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
Follow your heart. Kind of be like Nike – Just Do It! It always seems scary, but just taking the leap of faith works. You will learn along the way what it is you need but if you don’t start because you need the money, you need the vision, you need, you need you need something first…..just drop that idea and go.
What is one program, tool or app that you can’t live without for your business? (If you have more than one, please feel free to share more!)
Right now, the iPad and phone. The calendar which is synced on all devices so i can see all the things I need to do and places to be in one place. The iPad for editing videos so i can post them on YouTube and a few other apps I use specifically for some of the work I do. This year, I have a new planner which is to help me organize my thoughts into one place. But because I am a creative being, I need this for some structure, but i need flexibility, too. The calendar (phone) is still where I put in the appts to remind me of the tasks I need to do and when to do them. But the planner is my place to scribble and get creative and brainstorm for the ideas to share that week and who to follow up with.
What does your day to day in your business look like?
Every day is totally different. It all depends on which clients I see and what I need to get done. But each day starts with me doing my movement therapy, and doing some social media posts, or receiving messages in meditations, planning what I need to do that day for social media or anything else. Then depending on whether I see clients thru the day, i obviously have to prepare for them, prepare the meals for me and make time for a FB live every week, a blog post and newsletter every week. I have one day per week where I do meet with those potential partners and schedule time to follow up with clients or potential clients who have questions. This is part of what I love – each day is different! It is what I loved about outside sales for so many years and now I just have the office inside my home and I see clients here rather than travel to their business.
As a business owner it can often be hard to find time for ourselves. What are your favorite hobbies and what do you like to do when you are not working?
I have perfected this early on. I know I am my best after I do my own movement therapy first. Without this, and I love it in my mornings, I am not a very sane person. I am agitated without my movement therapy. It is my way of settling the mind and getting excess energy out so i can focus on the day. I play games with the exercise and have learned to play games with my business I love to ride my bike (the pedaling kind), swim, tennis and do yoga when I can. I need all of it to feel alive and grounded.
Thank you so much to Joanna for taking the time to share her story and more about Nutrition in Motion, LLC. Remember to check out Nutrition in Motion, LLC and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.
Are you a small business owner? Do you have a story to share? Help others discover, learn, and support your business too! Contact Katie at: kate (at) busybeekate.com for details or through our contact page.
Be sure to stop back next week for another interview and don’t forget to check out our past interviews here.