I was just doing a little bit of housekeeping on my nutrition business page and saw that I had not done a business update in 3 years!
So much has changed in that time (um, hello pandemic), so let me catch you up on where I’m at and where I’m heading!
This post is a long one, but I tried to make the headings more clear so that it’s easily digestible.
March 2020: The Pandemic
Up until the pandemic hit, I was doing pretty well in my brick and mortar private practice in Charlotte. I was accepting insurance and seeing some cash-paying clients as well.
Then the pandemic hit and really changed everything.
Insurance started covering Telehealth for the first time. I’m so introverted and I love technology, so my business became so much more enjoyable for me when I started seeing people virtually.
My husband, who previously traveled and worked really long hours, was now working from home. We could now spend time together in the evenings and enjoy dinner together. This shifted my outlook on my working hours and boundaries I had with my business. This was the beginning of wanting less grind and more freedom.
I niched down to PCOS and started exclusively posting PCOS content on IG. All of the sudden my follower count started to increase quickly and my client load got busier and busier. People were reaching out to me online asking about services.
Summer 2020: Starting Group Coaching
My case load started getting so busy that I decided to start group coaching. PCOS is such an isolating condition that it was fun to have people in a group where they could build connections with others. My groups started out smaller (with maybe 5-6 people) and I ran them for 6-week increments.
As my business has continued to grow, I have increased the group size and length of my group coaching. I’ve had groups as big as 20 people and my program runs for 12 weeks. I’m not currently running groups, which I’ll talk about more below!
No Longer Accepting Insurance
As I started to increase my cash-based income in 2020, I started disliking accepting insurance more and more. I was already having these feelings prior to the pandemic, but the feelings were amplified by ongoing billing issues. The insurance company understandably had a hard time adjusting during the pandemic and for the first month or two, payments were greatly delayed. I was impatiently waiting on about 2 months of income and it made me feel really anxious that I was so out of control of my own income.
Then there were more billing issues. For example, I had a client that I saw weekly whose claims kept getting denied because of the switch to Telehealth. Even though insurance was aware of the issue and would eventually reimburse me, I still had to call to fix it on a regular basis. This took over an hour just for this one client. Some of my clients were mistakenly being told they had visits covered when they didn’t, and I didn’t realize it until I had seen them several times and their claims were denied. It was a mess.
I found myself spending several hours on the phone with insurance every month, and I came to a crossroads where I felt like I needed to either hire a biller or stop accepting insurance. This was at a point where I already felt like I was taking a financial loss by accepting insurance compared to my groups and cash paying clients.
I realized during that time that accepting insurance didn’t necessarily make services more accessible since many people who need services don’t even have insurance. So I started giving scholarships to people who truly needed it, and I got more involved in PCOS advocacy.
Later that year, I stopped taking 1:1 clients and also decided not to take insurance anymore.
July 2020: Long COVID and When Everything Changed with my Nutrition Private Practice
In July of 2020, I got COVID which turned into long COVID. My symptoms with long COVID included fatigue and muscle weakness in my neck. It was difficult to sit at the computer for hours at a time. Sometimes I would go lay on the couch in between clients, even if it was just for 10 minutes.
I also had to have an unrelated surgery in September, and I had a really bad allergic skin reaction at my surgical site that made it uncomfortable to sit up or wear anything with a waist band.
My physical health really took a beating at that time. I took time off after my surgery, but I was not ready to jump back into my schedule of running 2 groups and a full-time client load. I felt exhausted and physically uncomfortable.
I knew something had to change going into the new year, and I decided to stop offering individual coaching and to focus on more scalable programs in 2021.
January 2021: My First Course Launch
I stopped all coaching and launched a course in early 2021. It went really well. Of course there were some technology kinks to be worked out, but by that time I had really decided to embrace the “finished is better than perfect” mindset. I launched it again in March for Q2 and a 3rd time in July for Q3.
But by my 3rd launch in the summer of 2021, I really missed the connection of group coaching. I love being there with my clients and seeing their journey.
So I kind of morphed my course back into group coaching by using the course modules in my group coaching program. I ran that program as an evergreen program from July 2021 to February 2022.
2022: A Mindset Shift and My First Nutrition Mini Course
Going into the spring of this year, I began to have a mindset shift in my business. I had worked with several business coaches and followed their ‘method’ but didn’t really feel aligned with where I was at. I started feeling strongly that it was time to follow what felt right to me and get really in tune with what my clients need.
I really loved my group, but the evergreen model didn’t really work for my life. I really like a defined time period where I know I can give my clients my all, and then I like some time where I have nothing on my schedule so that I can take time for myself.
One of my goals this year is to take 2 full weeks off at Christmas with nothing on my calendar.
I also wanted to diversify my revenue stream by offering smaller, lower-cost items. But I wanted to do this without compromising my group coaching offer.
So I launched a mini course!
For my mini course, I basically plucked out some information out of my comprehensive course and packed it into a smaller offer. So far it’s gone very well, and a re-launched it this summer with continued success.
I feel like we just lived 3 years of my business life together!
I am at an interesting place in my business. I have definitely shifted away from the traditional private practice model of business and I know I enjoy doing more things online. I know how to offer 1:1 services, how to launch a course, and how to run group coaching. I know how to market. I know how to grow IG. So where do I go next?
So many business coaches have made me feel like I had to have 1 offer only and I think it caused me to hop around to different things when I got bored or tired. But for me I see that I can have ‘seasons’ where I offer different things and have successfully done this without it sacrificing my income. So this is where I see myself going.
I really want to continue to shift my business so that I’m deeply serving my clients in the best way while also honoring my wants and needs for flexibility in my schedule.
I have really just come to a place where I realize creating offers and services is not about what’s ‘right or wrong’ but rather what feels aligned to me and deeply serves my clients.
I’m excited to see what that looks like in the future!