Fledgling Freedom-preneur Interview: Rachel Boon

Hi folks, so here's the latest in my blog interview series, where I chat with other freedom-preneurs about their first baby steps in business. 

The idea behind it is that by reading their stories, you can pick up some tips as you start out on your own business journey and get inspired!

This month I've been chatting with Naturopath and Medical Herbalist Rachel Boon, who swapped working as an administrator for running her own naturopathic practice. 

So how long have you had your business?

12 years in total. My first 10 years were part-time alongside my 9-5, then in the last two years I took the plunge and went full-time freelance

Did you have any business background or experience before you started?

God no! Other than doing lots of temp secretarial jobs which meant I could type quickly, as I'm naturally fairly organised and MS Office literate.

What were the 3 most important things you invested in when you were starting out?

1) Good stock. I've always gone for organic or wild crafted herbs despite them being more expensive as I didn't want to compromise on quality.

2) Myself! I've always done more than the recommended CPD (Continuing Professional Development) hours as I feel it's important to keep up with developments in your respective field to feed back to patients.

3) Other than the above, I really had very little opening expenditure. Room rental was on a week by week basis, we already had a laptop, and I spent a little on stock.

Is there anything that you spent time/money on, that now with hindsight, you would do differently?

I wouldn't have spent a small fortune on a newspaper advert in a Health and Wellbeing Special. It was expensive and I only got one lead on the back of it. Also, printed materials. I designed and had printed some postcards which I then paid to be distributed locally as part of a multiple leaflet drop. Not a single call!

How did you get your first customers?

My very first patients were already using the clinic I was practicing from so it was via the receptionist team there. But over the years, I've got the vast majority of my patients via good old word of mouth.

It takes time but is free and ultimately, I feel it's one of the best forms of recommendation when it comes to something personal like 1:1 therapy.

What tips do you have for starting a business whilst still in your 9 to 5?

Don't give up! It takes time, patience and genuine love for what you do so make sure you are pursuing something that won't bore you in a few years time.

If I could change anything from my early days in practice, it would be to have more faith in myself and work less conservatively and more intuitively.

Also, boundaries! Try to keep to time on your appointments (even more so if you are still working hard at your 9-5 as time will be extra precious) so patients respect your professionalism and you learn to respect yourself! I over-ran ALOT in my early days!

You can check out Rachel's services  at www.facebook.com/naturopathandherbalist

So do you know anyone who would like to share their story and lessons learned from their early days in business? Then ask them to email me at hello@thecoastalcoach.com

What is a success mindset anyway?

Want to know the difference between someone who is successful or not successful?...

It's their mindset. Pure and simple.

We have many thousands of thoughts throughout the day, which are often entrenched, repetitive thoughts which may or may not be helpful to us. For example:

  • I'm not clever enough...
  • I'm too old/young/fat/thin...
  • I'm not confident enough...
  • I don't have the relevant experience...

We can easily fall into ‘thought habits’, but it’s incredibly important that we pay attention to what these thoughts are telling us. Even Ghandi knew this:

When we learn to change our thoughts, then we can start to change our reality.  

So how can we start to change these thought habits? Well here are a few suggestions:

  • Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself. Keep a diary for 48hrs and note down every time you feel a negative emotion and what negative thoughts go through your head. Review your diary afterwards. What do you notice? Are there any common themes?
  • Also look out for passive language. How often do you say “I'll try” or “Maybe I will” or “If I have time”? This language is designed to protect us from our fear of failure. The trick is to notice that we’re doing it, and start to tackle that fear. Try saying “I will”, or “I can” instead. Now how does that feel? 
  • Ask yourself what you’re most afraid of about starting or running your business? Is it based on something that has happened in the past? If so, then the fear might not be based on anything that’s relevant now. For example if your fear is, “I’m not clever enough”, then challenge that assumption. Is this actually true? Who says it’s true? Was it the bully at primary school? An intimidating boss at your first job? What evidence did they have? Is it still true now?

Give these tips a try, and start see your success mindset kick in : - )

Speak to you soon,
Juliette xx

p.s In my new Self Study Clarity Course, there’s a whole module about tackling your fears and replacing them with confidence, as well as a bonus welcome pack full of tips and tricks for creating your success mindset (currently on special offer only til May 31st).