I saw my very first client on my very first day in my very brand new role as a nutritionist
I often think back to how I started my business and I smile at my 24 year old self who graduated one month, and started a business the next, without even realising I was really starting a business. But I usually like to move fast, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As I celebrate six years in my business, here’s a timeline of my business journey so far; the ups and downs, the incredible moments that changed the course of my career (or perhaps, didn’t change but rather, helped me see I was exactly where I was supposed to be), highlighting the fears, the break-throughs, the ‘successes’ and the ‘failures’, and the moments I had to choose courage over convention.
I tried to include as much as I could in this post, but I mostly focused on the big projects and goals.
I hope you enjoy this timeline, and I hope it helps to highlight how every step we take is helping to move ourselves, our business and our dreams forward.
With graduation coming up, I started sending out emails to every clinic in Sydney, asking if they needed any admin/reception support. I thought it would be a good way to get my foot in the door as I set up my business. (If you want to know where I studied, read this post first.)
I received a reply from a clinic saying they didn’t need admin support, but they needed a nutritionist… did I want the job?
And that’s how it began!
I graduated as a nutritionist, got my association memberships and insurance in order, made a logo myself on some website that probably doesn’t exist anymore (I tried to find the logo for this post but I have no idea where it’s gone…!), put up a free Wix website that I customised myself, put my details up on the clinic’s website, organised my nutritional medicine dispensary, and got ready to start seeing clients.
I got myself all set up in my clinic in early May, and was all set to start seeing clients from 24 May. I had no one booked in, and no idea how I’d start to get clients yet. There were other practitioners in other modalities at my clinic, so cross-referral was a good start.
On my first day in clinic, I was about to leave for the day when the clinic director popped her head in my room and said ‘Check your calendar! You have a client!’
A colleague at my husband’s work had heard I was now working as a nutritionist and she’d booked in for that day. My first client! I was thrilled.
It slowly started to build from there, with clients referred to me from the clinic as well as word of mouth.
All the while, I was finishing up my naturopathy studies too.
I can’t exactly remember when it was that I opened my second clinic location, but at some stage around Nov/Dec I opened a clinic in Bondi Beach, in a beautiful pilates studio. I worked there two days a week, and worked at my other clinic one or two days a week too. It was so much fun to have two clinics although it became quite hard to manage two dispensaries after a while (this was before patient-ordering systems which now negate the need for a big dispensary).
I also finished my naturopathy studies at this time, and started adding in some beautiful herbal medicine to my practice.
By now, I was seeing a steady stream of clients in two locations, and loving my work. I was also doing some writing for my clinic’s newsletter, as well as building up the library of work I gave to new clients.
I hired a friend who’s a graphic designer create a new logo for me, and then I worked with a web developer to create a new WordPress website, and I started blogging as well.
I started my Masters of Human Nutrition through Deakin University. I quickly realised I didn’t love studying public health, plus so much of the content mirrored what I’d learned in my nutrition qualification. I finished the first four units to attain my Graduate Certificate of Human Nutrition and took early exit by the next year.
Sometime in late 2012 I left my first clinic as it was further from home, and focused on my Bondi clinic which was closer to home and felt easier to manage, plus it meant I was completely autonomous and not working under a separate clinic name.
I started working with a new graphic designer, the amazing Dani from Neverland Studio (who is still my designer to this day), and essentially, rebranded my business. We created a new logo, website and branding suite.
I also started writing what would become my very first eBook, Cleansed. It started off as a short PDF I wrote for clients and became something else.
I started studying kinesiology, which I’d wanted to do for years.
Around this time (I think!), I also moved to a different clinic location in Bondi that was bigger so I could expand my business.
I launched my Cleansed eBook, which was awesome, and I learned so much about writing, publishing and online sales, as well as managing the tech side of all of this.
I also spoke at my first weekend retreat and wrote for more and more online and print publications.
My media writing increased, and I started to speak at corporate events and functions, and run my own webinars.
This was a busy and exciting time in my business, but I also burnt out a little bit and started getting heart palpitations.
I had to consciously pull back and make sure I was saying yes to things that I could easily manage, instead of saying yes to things because I felt guilty to say no.
I started planning the creation of the online course version of my Cleansed eBook. I also launched a range of beautiful free desktop wallpapers.
I launched six simple downloadable weekly meal plans that sold amazingly well.
I launched the pre-sale campaign for my Cleansed eCourse and had lots of lovely people sign up to it. I’d marketed it and put it up for pre-sale before I’d completed the course creation, to see how much interest it would get, and was thrilled with the results. Now I had to complete the course creation! I did this over the summer months, launching the course in March.
I launched the companion to my Cleansed eBook, the Cleansed Kitchen Companion. I’d only had the idea to create this in November or December and put so much pressure on myself to get it out by January (I have no idea why) so I wrote the bulk of this eBook in just a few days, but it’s gorgeous and I was so proud of it.
It never sold as many as the original eBook and I always felt like it was a little bit forgotten, however it was also marking a turning point in my interests and passions in my work, and I was slowly but purposefully moving away from “just” writing and talking about food and nutrition, especially as I immersed myself into more and more of the kinesiology and energy balancing study.
I was also working on completing the content for the Cleansed eCourse.
And my designer and I also updated my website a little bit, giving it a fresher feel.
I launched the first round of my Cleansed eCourse and had about 40-45 people enrol in total, which felt amazing.
I was also gently asked to leave my clinic premises as the clinic needed the room for something else. I was two weeks away from going on holiday to London with my mum to visit my sis, and I had no idea where I’d practice from.
My hubby suggested I start working from home, using the second bedroom which was already our home office. I thought it would be a short-term arrangement, but loved it so much that I never looked for another clinic to move to.
This was also when I started to do some Skype sessions which was wonderful as it opened my business up to many more clients.
I graduated as a kinesiologist, brought it into my business, combined naturopathy with kinesiology and watched my business go to a new level.
My clientele organically shifted so that I was seeing many more entrepreneurs, healers, coaches, creatives and small business owners. I continued to do more and more sessions online.
Plus of course, I was still writing for my own website and other publications.
I’d say 90% of the work I was doing was kinesiology-based, with some naturopathic support on the side. I became more fully booked than I’d ever been, with a long waiting list of clients.
I planned the second round of my Cleansed eCourse. I got to work with my graphic designer, Dani at Neverland Studio, to slightly update the course branding and expand the content for the second round.
I launched the second round and had over 70 people sign up. It felt like such a success, and saw me have my biggest two months in my business that I’d had up until that time (over $5OK).
My 1:1 work was continuing to shift, expand and evolve.
More and more of my clients were entrepreneurs, healers, coaches and creatives, and my passion for supporting other small business owners was growing.
I was still working as a naturopath with some clients, but I could feel this was shifting and I was very happy to move in the direction my business was taking.
I began seeing even more clients via Skype.
The idea for my new project, the Heartfelt Harmony Society dropped into my lap, and I got to work on planning the initial stages of it.
I attended Alexandra Franzen’s writing workshop in Sydney, as well as the Hay House Writer’s Workshop.
I was still working on my Heartfelt Harmony Society project and all the online courses, and was planning the new website and opt-in too.
I launched the gorgeous website for my upcoming Heartfelt Harmony Society (which at the time, was called the Body Harmony Society – will explain the change further down in this post). I also launched the free Body Harmony Guidebook and a couple of thousand people signed up to receive that free eBook over the next few months. It was one of the most impactful opt-in resources I’d ever offered.
In hindsight, however, in no way did I need a completely new website to house these courses. It was fun to create, and I was riding the waves of success of my Cleansed eCourse but it added a huge expense and after a while I felt like I was managing two different streams of my business, instead of one coherent brand.
I had so much passion for my Society, and this clouded a little bit of my judgement in the creation of the project but to be fair to myself, I was doing what I felt and thought was the absolute best thing to do at the time, and the whole process taught me so much, and brought so many wonderful ups and insightful downs along with it.
I wrote my book proposal to submit to the Hay House Writer’s Workshop just a few days before the deadline! I used some unpublished content from my Heartfelt Harmony Society.
I also planned what I felt would be the last round of my Cleansed eCourse as I felt it was time to say goodbye to it… and I was right. A handful of beautiful women signed up, and I knew it was time to lovingly retire it.
I won a book deal with Hay House!
I completed the written content for my Heartfelt Harmony Society, which was 100,000 words long, spread out over six courses.
At some stage, my designer and I tweaked my home page of my main website to reflect updated photos and the new opt-in that gave people their first taste of the Heartfelt Harmony Society.
My 1:1 work continued to evolve and while I still included naturopathy where needed, most of my 1:1 work was kinesiology based, and most of my 1:1 clients were entrepreneurs, healers, coaches and creatives.
After almost a full year of work (and love, sweat, tears and everything in between), I was all ready to go with the launch of my Heartfelt Harmony Society when I received an email saying I was infringing on a registered trademark and further action would be taken if I launched.
I was beyond shocked, and gutted, as I thought I’d checked all this out before planning the project. Turns out, I hadn’t checked the trademark registry, only registered business names and domain names.
Here’s the full story if you’re keen to read about it in more detail, but I basically had to get IP lawyers involved, find a new name for my project, move everything onto a new domain, rebrand all the graphics and course materials, find a new name for one of the courses, and push my launch back. It was a hectic time, but in the end, the new name, the Heartfelt Harmony Society, reflected my work even better than the original name, the Body Harmony Society. I also had the new name trademarked.
My Heartfelt Harmony Society finally launched!
I’d had huge expectations of this project, this launch, and of myself, and I remember feeling excited but also a little bit disappointed after the launch, mostly because of the pressure I’d placed on myself.
After all the months of creating this project, and then the legal issue and having to rebrand etc. I’d spent about $30,000 on the project, and in hindsight, I can see where I spent money that I didn’t need to. This meant I then placed so much pressure on myself to recoup the investment. I did this over the next several months, but I think I’d ‘expected’ to do it in the first few weeks!
I had to do a lot of inner work to forgive myself for my perceived failings, and in fact, it’s this experience that was the catalyst for my second book.
The Heartfelt Harmony Society was finally out there though, and I was so proud of all my hard work, and so happy to welcome in so many wonderful new members.
While in Mexico on holiday with my hubby, I sat down to write the outline of my book, to be published with Hay House.
I wrote the first draft of You Are Enough over a six week period. I then took a break from the writing process for a couple of weeks, in between the first and second drafts.
I also ran a live round of my Heartfelt Harmony Society’s Business Guide for Solo Wellness Entrepreneurs which really supported me in taking more time off to write my book, even though I was still seeing a few clients a week during the writing process.
I edited my book over three days while in beautiful Byron Bay.
I don’t know if it was the combination of the book writing process, the beach, the coffee or the creative space I had, but I cherished those few days and still absolutely cherish this memory.
I worked on the final steps of the book, reading through the editor’s edits and notes, and we worked on the cover and pre-order campaign. I was so excited to launch this into the world!
I launched my Breathe & Receive meditation album, a chakra-cleansing meditation album.
I worked so hard on the pre-order campaign for my book, You Are Enough.
My designer and I also updated my website, just a few tweaks to refresh it up again.
I launched my first book, You Are Enough, into the world! Ahhh!!!
And had an amazing book launch party!
I planned and ran the first iteration of my Love What You Create workshop, and absolutely loved it, plus I received wonderful feedback and had the feeling it would become something else… I just didn’t know what yet.
I ran a live round of my Heartfelt Harmony Society’s Emotional Harmony Course. This was fun as I experimented with doing lots of promo before the live round, such as promoting a free ‘Release Perfectionism’ meditation track, which led into promoting a free webinar on self trust, which then led into inviting people to work with me in the course.
I also included weekly live group coaching calls in the live round. The recordings were then added to the member’s portal as added/bonus course materials.
Hay House and I started discussing my second book! I’d started writing it a few months before but hadn’t finalised the main message yet.
The idea to run a You Are Enough workshop and book tour popped into my head, so I started planning it.
I went on book tour for You Are Enough, to six cities around Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane). What fun!
I also decided to run an updated and expanded version of my Love What You Create workshop around Australia in early 2017 so I put it on the back-burner until after the book tour.
I planned my Love What You Create workshops and opened ticket sales. I was so excited for this workshop tour!
This was also when I officially moved my business name from Elevate Vitality, to my own name. A few months before this, I’d changed my social media handles to my own name, but my website was still under my business name, so I worked with a developer to move from elevatevitality.com.au to my own name domain, cassiemendozajones.com.
I launched the You Are Enough meditation album to accompany my book.
I finished the first draft of my second book in ten days (I’d written the other half slowly over the past year) and sent it off to Hay House to review before diving into the second draft.
I wrote all the content for the Love What You Create Workshops.
I launched my free Beautiful Business Workbook.
I also decided it was the right time to soon lovingly retire my Heartfelt Harmony Society. For months, I’d known something needed to shift or change with it, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like yet. Then one day, it came to me: let it all go. It felt bittersweet but absolutely right. I planned to retire it in April, after running my LWYC workshops.
I ran all four of my LWYC workshops (in Sydney, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast and Perth) and in between, I went to Byron Bay on a solo writing and editing retreat to complete the second draft of my second book. I completed the second draft in just over a week, and sent it off to Hay House for review before being edited.
I also lovingly retired my Heartfelt Harmony Society at this time, as it felt like it was time to simplify and clarify my offerings.
I launched the online version of my Love What You Create Workshop! I’d been dreaming of this for months and was so happy to release it and welcome in so many beautiful new Creators.
I was part of the Hay House World Summit, where my audio lesson – based on my book, You Are Enough – was part of 99 other audios from amazing authors and spiritual teachers from around the world!
I celebrated six years in my beautiful biz!
And wrote this mammoth post. Phew *wipes sweat off brow*.
And soon… I’ll announce the name and cover of my next book!
What has been consistent?
As you can see, there’ve been many different online and in-person offerings throughout the years.
As well as this, I’ve written for and been featured in national and international publications such as Collective Hub, CLEO, Body + Soul, Women’s Fitness and Gourmet Traveller, and on popular websites such as The Daily Guru, news.com.au, Vogue.com.au, Sporteluxe, marie claire and smh.com.au. I’ve been interviewed oncountless podcasts, and spoken at events and workshops around Australia for a variety of companies such as BUPA, Barre Body, New Balance, LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley and Eat Fit Food, as well as for my own popular workshops.
However, I’ve always offered 1:1 sessions and programs, even though the actual offerings or nature of the sessions have changed, shifted and evolved over the years.
I have a few things in the pipeline, namely, my second book, due for release in October 2017, with a book tour to go with it.
I’m also working on a few other online offerings that’ll be launched over the next 18 months, as well as deepening and expanding my 1:1 kinesiology and business alignment coaching offerings.
How do I explain what I do now?
If someone asks what I do now, this is what I say:
I’m an author, speaker, kinesiologist and business alignment coach, with a background in naturopathy.
I work with female entrepreneurs, healers, coaches, creatives, small business owners and women who are driven, devoted and honouring their dreams, and who want to become more powerfully aligned to their bigger vision, clear perfectionism, procrastination and overwhelm, and create their own version of a beautiful and aligned business and life.
What does my business currently look like?
Here’s what I currently offer in my business:
♢ My first book, You Are Enough, with my second book due for release in October 2017
♢ Running my own workshops and events, plus speaking at workshops and events
♢ Writing for my website plus other publications
♢ Plus, a few other things in the pipeline…
So, that’s it: a summary of my business over the last six years
It was both easy and hard to write this post; it’s hard to put into one post how much I’ve learnt over the past six years, the intricacies of running a business, the ups and the downs, the times you feel so lifted up by your business, and the times you feel you want to quit.
What I know is that I’m so glad I kept going, through all those times things felt hard.
The shift in my work work from naturopathy to kinesiology and business alignment coaching (with naturopathy on the side, where needed!), started when I added kinesiology into my business in 2014, however it was a slow process, because I never forced it.
I followed my passions, dreams and desires, always taking action, and honouring what worked for me.
This is how I’ve built a beautiful business that I love.
I’m so happy I’ve honoured what I love to do, followed my heart, built my business based on intuition, and allowed my business to naturally evolve.
I’m not the nutritionist and naturopath I started out as.
I’m now an author, speaker, kinesiologist and business alignment coach, and I honour this with love.
And if one day that changes, I’ll honour that newness, shift and expansion too.