Name: Joanne Crovini
Job title: Nutritional Therapist
Time in current role: 8 years
Why did you decide to start your business?
After moving to Cardiff in 2005 I decided to re-train – I was bored with my office job and had always had an interest in natural health. I did a diploma in Nutritional Therapy with the College of Naturopathic Medicine whilst I continued to work full-time. My first child was born two months before my final exams and working for myself around childcare made a lot of sense.
What are the key functions of your role?
On a day-to-day basis I see private clients who want personalised diet, lifestyle and supplement plans for conditions such as asthma, eczema, IBS, arthritis, anxiety, stress, depression and inflammatory bowel conditions as well as for fertility and for training purposes. I provide an ongoing and supportive 121 relationship to help these clients reach their goals.
When not seeing 121 clients I work with organisations like the police, Balfour Beatty and Trimmer You Boot Camp on their staff wellbeing services by providing group workshops and presentations on different topics as well as mini 121 sessions.
Talk us through your typical working day
My days are never the same and that’s part of what I like about my job! Some days I’ll be on a 7am train to go and run workshops for a business, other days I’ll be at my desk looking at client notes or preparing presentations, and some days I’m at the clinic with my 121 clients.
My hours are flexible and I see a lot of clients in the evening as that’s what suits them. That frees me up to collect my children from school and spend time with them. As a Nutritional Therapist I know the importance of good food on focus and resilience so I always make time for a good lunch and will take food with me when I’m travelling for work. Generally I also take time out for mindfulness and running during the day.
Your favourite part of the job?
I love it when clients come back for their follow up appointments and tell me how much better they feel and sometimes that a particular symptom they’ve had for years has gone. On occasion people don’t even realise that a symptom has gone until you ask them about it and they realise it’s not on their mind as they haven’t experienced it in the last month!
Also, when I’m working with groups I enjoy the interaction Often groups start off as quiet but once I start to speak people have questions and there’s a lot of interaction. I can feel that the group gets so much more from it when they start to engage. In general the flexibility is great – I can choose when to take holidays and can fit in my own wellbeing around my work schedule.
…and the part you could do without?
There’s not much I don’t enjoy but sometimes the admin takes over a bit and I find myself at my desk for half a day managing my diary, clearing emails, sending invoices and filling in spreadsheets.
How would your clients describe you in three words?
Knowledgeable, approachable and honest.
Plans for the future?
I’ll always carry on with what I’m doing now but will expand it with more corporate work and add in some courses and workshops. I’m always studying too, so plan to add to my qualifications and possibly branch out into areas like mindfulness and coaching. The years doing the job I do has made me realise that a stress-management package is what most people need – diet is a big part of that but there are other factors too.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
You need to be able to self-motivate and work alone but at the same time be open to discussion and opportunities that come your way with others. And whatever the role you’ve chosen you’ll need to have some IT skills and learn a bit about marketing to get yourself started. Some things don’t work out as you intended so be flexible and open to changing your ideas. LLY