I recently closed the doors on a business I co-founded. Why am I not sad? ‘Cause now we’re more successful than ever!!!! Today, my business partner (Dr. Sarah Ellis) and I, tell you all the gory details about what made us “quit”... and why that was “a boss ass move”.
Today’s episode is...
Quitting is NOT the same as FAILING
What happens in this episode?
I interview Dr. Sarah Ellis about the rise and “fall” of Ellis Family Wellness, a health consultation business we co-founded. We decided to close our doors after realizing that the services we provided weren’t truly aligned with our passion (i.e. educating people on how they can live their best lives).
Why is this episode so important?
There are a lot of people right now that are keeping themselves stuck in a place because it “makes sense” instead of following their true passion. And today, I want you to have a first hand look at what life can be when you choose passion / purpose over what makes sense.
Did you know you can work with a world class business start-up coach for just $20?
It’s true when you book my signature…
“Brainstorm-2-Breakthru” is a 20 minute 1-on-1 session where you’ll tell me:
Then I use my years of experience and business coachy brain to come up with solutions for you on the spot.
My mission is to literally make sure you have a breakthrough on this call in 20 minutes or less.
And it only costs a whopping $20 to book.
Pretty sweet deal, right?
Click or go to https://www.chrisellis.tv/coaching and book your breakthrough session today.
Thanks for listening to Boss Talk and I’ll see you next episode.
P.S. Please remember to share this episode with a friend. I really appreciate you.
Chris Ellis [00:00:00] This is, this is, this is Chris Ellis and I am a business startup coach.
[00:00:07] My mission is to empower and I do that by showing everyday people how to turn any business idea into very real income. This show is for the creatively and financially frustrated dreamers of the world.
[00:00:22] This show is for those of you that can't escape, the feeling that your life that you are living doesn't match up with the life that you are capable of having. You know, that you can do more and be more because you've been blessed with a burning passion or an undeniable talent or a game changing business idea that can change the world.
[00:00:43] You just don't know how to go from dreamer to doer I'm here to let you know that you've landed in the right place and that this show is for you. I'm going to give you all the game when it comes to launching a small business with no unnecessary, expensive time consuming steps.
[00:01:01] If you're ready to go from breakdown to breakthrough, let's get into this.
---- Conversation Start
Chris Ellis [00:01:07] Today is a special episode because I never actually planned on talking on air about this. Some of you know this. Not too long ago, I co-founded a business with my lovely wife called Ellis Family Wellness.
Chris Ellis [00:01:24] We opened our doors around October of last year and we closed our doors in the location about eight months later. It didn't even last a whole year. Granted, what ended up happening is that we actually completely switched over to a virtual platform. And we moved over to a different direction as far as our services are concerned. My wife basically realized that the thing that she was great at, helping clients and patients, wasn't the activity that brought her the most joy.
Chris Ellis [00:01:55] She's more of a teacher and educator versus a straight up healer. So we ended up closing our doors. We quit. And again, I never really thought that I would address this on air, but I wanted to be completely vulnerable on this platform because there's such a stigma about quitting anything. And I want everybody listening to know that there is a huge difference between quitting and bossing up.
Chris Ellis [00:02:21] There are so many people right now that are keeping themselves stuck in place, because it makes sense, instead of following their true passion. And today I want you to have a firsthand look at what life can be like when you choose passion and purpose over what just makes sense.
Chris Ellis [00:02:42] So today I'm very happy and excited to be sitting here to interview my favoritest person in the world about her eight month experience slash experiment with her brick and mortar location.
Chris Ellis [00:02:57] Welcome to the podcast, my wife and best friend, Dr. Sarah Ellis.
Dr. Sarah [00:03:04] Hello, hello, hello.
Chris Ellis [00:03:06] My wife has been talking about us doing some sort of podcast for a long time and I've always shot her down and said no, because... Do you know why though?
Dr. Sarah [00:03:19] Why Christopher? Why?
Chris Ellis [00:03:21] Because, like... everybody in our real life know us as like a couple. We're like... fused together in real life. And whenever one of us is not around, someone is asking about the other person.
Chris Ellis [00:03:35] So online and our businesses are the only places where we're actually individuals. Everything else is like very much fused together. So I was like, let's just keep this space where we're both actually individual people.
Chris Ellis [00:03:50] okay. Um.
Chris Ellis [00:03:56] So here's the story I wanna tell. Sarah is a person that got her degree, became a doctor, opened a brick and mortar business for her practice months after getting that degree, was really good at the job and realized that she didn't love it. And she made the bold decision to restructure her business.
Chris Ellis [00:04:20] She let go of the physical location, even though she had plenty of clients that she could serve in which they reminded her of such. "We need you out here in these streets." Yes. We know. We, we understand. And she ultimately wanted to restructure her business so she can launch a health educational brand.
Chris Ellis [00:04:40] And now a few months later, she works as a clinical science liaison doing the exact kind of work that she really wanted to do in the first place. She makes more money because she doesn't have to lease out the office anymore. She's less stressed and she has way more free time. And we've been talking about all kinds of stuff like vacations and Disney World and all types of stuff, man..
Chris Ellis [00:05:07] So, yay!
Chris Ellis [00:05:12] Is that a decent summary of the past year?
Dr. Sarah [00:05:17] I think so. There's a lot of like little fine details that you know we'll fill in and cover for folks. But as a summary. Yeah, that was a good summary.
Chris Ellis [00:05:27] So this interview, I just wanna kinda walk through that story and give people insight on you know, what you were thinking and feeling at different points of that journey here. Yeah. So, umm, let's start it off. Tell me exactly what is a naturopathic doctor and like, how does that differ from an MD, because that's what you actually are?
Dr. Sarah [00:05:50] We are medically trained but naturally focused. So the way we differ from medical doctors or MDs, is that we take a lot more time with our patients. We have a more holistic and integrative perspective when it comes to healthcare. So we don't just say, "Oh, you're having bloating okay, well here's a pill for this." We grade nutrition, herbs lifestyle, and we weigh in all aspects of you as an individual person.
Chris Ellis [00:06:27] Okay. So it's kinda like all the factors. For everybody that is not in the know necessarily, it's literally called holistic medicine. So, when I was working with you at Ellis Family Wellness, I always like to sum it up as, "Aligning with all of you to treat all of you."
Dr. Sarah [00:06:45] Absolutely. Yeah, exactly.
Chris Ellis [00:06:47] Okay. Yep. Um, so you started a whole ass private practice, like months after getting your degree. Why not just work at a hospital like a typical medical grad?
Dr. Sarah [00:07:01] Well, because, unlike medical doctors, we do not have a set infrastructure that we just feed into. We are essentially medical entrepreneurs. So, because this is what's considered CAM or complimentary and alternative medicine, insurance just does not cover our services. So we aren't in hospitals, we aren't in your traditional doctors' offices. Unless you're in California or some other states where you may see naturopathic doctors with working alongside medical doctors in their own offices. But you won't find us in a hospital.
Chris Ellis [00:07:40] Understood. Understood. So just to make it clear for everybody in this particular case, Sarah, and I for about five years was in California, while she was studying to become a naturopathic doctor. And while there were a lot of amazing opportunities there, we ended up actually going back to our home in South Carolina. And we currently reside in Charleston, South Carolina. So a lot of the infrastructure is not there.
Chris Ellis [00:08:10] So if you wanna take your actual degree and make some money off of it, if you work as a naturopathic doctor, then you're gonna come down here and you're gonna offer some type of service that are akin to that. In this particular case, a health coaching service.
Chris Ellis [00:08:24] So this was more Ellis Family Wellness was more so a health coaching practice that you actually opened in this case, correct?
Dr. Sarah [00:08:32] Right.
Chris Ellis [00:08:33] So in your business, you weren't actually treating diseases, so much as optimizing people's health. Is that correct?
Dr. Sarah [00:08:39] That's correct.
Chris Ellis [00:08:41] Let's pause for some clarity. I wanna say that while I co-founded Ella's Family Wellness, this is Sarah's business outright.
Chris Ellis [00:08:49] I worked in a position in the company as her COMS person, as I called it. Her chief operations and marketing strategist. But Sarah actually had a team of people that she worked with. She had like a virtual assistant that she worked with who like lives in New Zealand or something like that.
Chris Ellis [00:09:08] So shout out to her. She actually worked with a small business advisor and marketing expert. She also actually had a person that she was working intimately with, which was a guy... I love this guy. And he actually was specializes in creating help coaching and medical practices for students that are just graduating.
Chris Ellis [00:09:27] So she worked with a team of people outside of myself. So I wasn't specifically Sarah's business coach. Sarah was in pretty good hands. And that really allowed me to make the podcast instead. So, yeah, because she was so much of a boss, you got this podcast.
Chris Ellis [00:09:45] You had, you had the potential to just do virtual private practice. Why open a physical location out of the gate?
Dr. Sarah [00:09:59] It was two things. I wanted to have a physical space because I was trying to take a model from California and find a way to create it in South Carolina. And all pretty much all of the naturopathic integrative practices in California are brick and mortar places. The other reason is that we have two very young children.
Dr. Sarah [00:10:26] We have a three year old and a one year old and they love mommy. And I just didn't wanna have that distraction. And so I, was like, "Well, let's go find me in office so I can see people and I can have a little bit of privacy."
Chris Ellis [00:10:44] Before opening your business, what kind of work did you imagine that ideally you would be doing? And also, who did you think that you would be working with?
Dr. Sarah [00:10:59] When I was, imagining my dream practice, it was fertility, it was fertility in women's health. I envisioned like an actual practice where people would come in and they would be super excited to work with me. They would follow my recommendations and get pregnant. I would be known around Charleston that magical woman that helps women pregnant.
Chris Ellis [00:11:23] Okay, understood. And...on the flipside, what kind of work did you end up doing?
Dr. Sarah [00:11:32] Oh a little bit of everything, child.
Both Of Us [00:11:37] [Laughter]
Dr. Sarah [00:11:39] I was... I ended up having a family medicine type of practice. Like... it was literally everyone and every issue they could have. There were not really any fertility folks.
Chris Ellis [00:11:53] Understood.
Chris Ellis [00:11:54] I'll ask this question because I was always personally curious about it here, but you were talking about fertility earlier and I always wondered, "Why not go in that direction from jump, coming outta school?"
Dr. Sarah [00:12:09] Because the business coach that you love, we love him. He was like, "Look, you need to get the basic stuff down first, so people can know you as an amazing practitioner and then you can kind of niche down into women's health."
Chris Ellis [00:12:28] Right.
Dr. Sarah [00:12:30] And so I followed that path.
Chris Ellis [00:12:33] Yeah. So that actually goes into something I was gonna, tag onto it. You felt like... in a way you had to pay your dues to work with the general public, build a rep to eventually do what you want. Is that fair to say?
Dr. Sarah [00:12:48] Yep, that's accurate.
Chris Ellis [00:12:50] Okay. What was the general feedback you got back from clients after you helped them?
Dr. Sarah [00:12:55] My patients love me. I worked in like a little small office space and I would get referrals from other businesses that were in the area. And they would always be like, "Girl, I don't know what you're doing in here but my clients cannot stop talking about you. They love you."
Dr. Sarah [00:13:12] I would get calls all day who are like, "I heard about you from such and such. Can you help me with X, Y, Z?" I mean, even today, I... have had my phone's been ringing of the hook, today. And I was telling you yesterday like... every day this week, someone has been like, "Hey, I'm looking to make an appointment." And I have to be like, "Sorry friend. Not taking any more patients, any more clients."
Chris Ellis [00:13:39] Right. And mind you, we haven't been in that space for like, at least a month, right? Like we haven't been there for at least a month and we're not advertising. Like we're not advertising. We're not putting up any Facebook ads, not putting up any like post online.
Dr. Sarah [00:13:56] I haven't been on social media in like three months.
Chris Ellis [00:13:59] Sarah hasn't been active in months and people all week have been calling her, trying to schedule appointments still. Yeah. So I really want to get this across because I wanna paint a picture to everybody that's listening today. Sarah was great at her job. There was so much demand for her.
Chris Ellis [00:14:17] Yeah, this wasn't a failing business, right? Sarah was doing something that the public desperately wanted. She was extremely good at and people still are calling her about to actually get done for themselves here.
Chris Ellis [00:14:32] Can you do me a favor and can you describe all the work that goes into a consultation and treatment plan for a single client?
Dr. Sarah [00:14:41] Okay, first step, the person calls and books an appointment for the "meet and greet". It's a free "meet and greet". Fifteen minutes. We, hop on, talk about your concerns. I talk about what it would look like for us to work together. After that, I send them some intake paperwork and we schedule our first session that's anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes long. Okay. And so if they get that paperwork done early, I comb through it.
Dr. Sarah [00:15:15] I look at what their concerns are, what their symptoms they're having, meds that they're on, supplements that they're on, and their goals. And then when they come in, I ask a whole bunch of questions. Generally, by the time I'm done with my intake, I know the direction in which I'm going. But in a lot of cases, it takes some time for me to research. So I'll take a couple of days just to kind research drug interactions. Um, real indepth investigation. And so then I type up their after visit summary. So I typed that up, send it to them that details nutritional changes I want them to make... supplements, lifestyle changes, labs. And then I do my charting on how the visit went, what we cover, what my recommendations are, so forth.
Chris Ellis [00:16:13] Can I, can I be honest and then just interject for a second?
Dr. Sarah [00:16:16] Yeah.
Chris Ellis [00:16:18] That's... you are not even done telling me everything, but that sounds like a shit ton of work for a single client. Am I... Am I off?
Dr. Sarah [00:16:27] And it is and that's why I got burnt out.
Chris Ellis [00:16:33] Yeah. And you have to do that kind of work, potentially back, to back, to back.
Dr. Sarah [00:16:37] Yes. Yes. Yeah. Just imagine, you know, there were days where I would have like three or four back to back patients and I have to do that for every patient. Which means that even though my doors may have closed at five, I would often stay till six or seven. Or I would come home and be with the kids, but be up all night charting and sending in, you know, supplement recommendations and lab orders and all this stuff.
Dr. Sarah [00:17:04] It's a lot of work. It's a lot of work.
Chris Ellis [00:17:07] Right. Right, right. And here's the thing I'm gonna interject with this point. And it's probably gonna be a weird point, but just follow me here, people. This is actually kinda the problem with brick and mortar. It gives you a laundry list of bills that you have to stay on top of.
Chris Ellis [00:17:25] Like... when you decide, "alright, I'm gonna be in an office, I'm gonna be a store. I'm gonna be in any type of physical space." It's like, okay, it's rent time, baby! Now it's time to make this money. And we need to make that money now, before you get kicked out of this space.
Chris Ellis [00:17:41] So now you have the rent that you have to deal with. And depending on what your strategy, as far as getting people, you have to have a space that is amenable to foot traffic. So if you wanna have more people in the store or your location or something like that, yeah it's gonna be bigger, but also you paying for that too.
Chris Ellis [00:18:01] So you're paying extra rent on top of that. Plus you're gonna have to make the store or the location or the office look nice from the outside or whatever, if you wanna attract people in it. So you have to pay for the decoration and the beautification of that space just to have it. And then you got the signs on the outside of that space just to get people to come on in, you know, and then you have to have products and inventory on hand to hand out as freebies or just to sell them right away, because you gotta pay that money. Right? So you have this laundry list of things that you have to do and expenses that you have to have. And because of that you literally can't afford to exclusively work with a particular type of person or client.
Dr. Sarah [00:18:52] Nope. When you have the financial responsibilities associated with the brick and mortar, you cannot afford to be choosy about who your clients are. Cause, honey it's in my case, rent was due every week, friend. Every Monday.
Chris Ellis [00:19:08] Right. When you commit yourself to a physical space like that, you have a laundry list of bills and cause of that, you can't be choosy. And you have to essentially to the best of your abilities and to the degree that it makes sense... you have to start working with the general public. Like you wanna do fertility stuff. You wanna just help women get pregnant. You wanna help with P C O S and stuff like that. And endometriosis and stuff like that. You see, I, I know the words, I know the words, I was a good student. I was a good employee. but yeah, you wanna work with these specific kinds of favorite people that you wanna work with, but you end up with a lot of people.
Chris Ellis [00:19:50] That's like, Hey man, I got a stomach ache. You got something for that? And you're like, well, yeah, because.
Dr. Sarah [00:19:55] Right money. It's like, " It's not really my jam, but friend, I got, I got to make this coin. So come on. Right. Let me get you some fiber and get you to drink some water and then thank you."
Chris Ellis [00:20:09] Right? Right, right. And when that happens, this is when, and I need everybody to understand and hear this.
Chris Ellis [00:20:16] This is when it starts feeling like a grind, instead of feeling like a privilege, like you get into this business or whatever business that you're gonna get into. And you'll just like, it's a privilege just to work with the people that I wanna work with. But when you get thrown off into the direction you weren't expecting to go and it takes you further and further away from the people, the community and the stuff that you wanna be.
Chris Ellis [00:20:44] Now, it's starting to feel like, instead of being a business owner, I like to say it starts feeling like you own a job. A job, you can't clock out a frame. Right. And now it, and that's listen, y'all, I'm all virtual. I'm all virtual. I need y'all to understand. I love it because Sarah had like, she had to have office hours, which I think is whack, like, like, oh, it says that we have to be there at nine...we gotta get our asses up and be there at nine o'clock whether or not people are coming not.
Dr. Sarah [00:21:27] Here's the thing. I really, I'm really glad that you mention and use the word privilege because I don't want it to be lost. That it, it is and was an absolute honor and a privilege for me to care for everyone that called me and reached out for help, because that's why I went to school.
Dr. Sarah [00:21:44] I went to school and I specifically moved back to my hometown to do exactly that. In a different way. Yes. But I moved back to Charleston to help my, my community and to introduce them to naturopathic medicine, holistic medicine. But it was absolutely owning a job that I could not clock out because I had things to do, you know?
Chris Ellis [00:22:13] Cause you gotta pay to work.
Dr. Sarah [00:22:15] Yeah. Cause I'm not just the clinician. I am the bookkeeper. I'm the secretary. So if I'm with a client and someone else called to book an appointment, I don't have someone at the front desk to say, oh, "Hey, thank you for calling Ellis Family Wellness. Let me book your appointment." I have to call them back myself. So it was a lot.
Chris Ellis [00:22:41] Right. And that's a, and that's actually a really good point because of the brick and mortar stuff, you have to pay for the brick and mortar, but then also you have to have money for support staff and, and support tools and things like that in order for you to really keep up with the workload.
Chris Ellis [00:22:58] During that period, did you ever feel like you just weren't motivated to like suit up or do it? Did you ever feel like that?
Dr. Sarah [00:23:08] Yes. And I'm debating on whether or not I'm going to say this.
Dr. Sarah [00:23:11] But I'm gonna keep it 100.
Chris Ellis [00:23:13] Keep it real. We're being vulnerable on this podcast
Dr. Sarah [00:23:16] Cause there was a point where my phone would ring and I would be like, “Shit! What do we want?” And I'm like, I shouldn't feel like that. I should be like, oh, yay. It's someone's calling. But instead it was, oh, someones calling book an appointment, then I have to do this and gotta do that. My to-do list gets a mile longer.
Chris Ellis [00:23:43] Right, right. Right. But thing is like, you continue to suit up every day. Cause it's like, like I bet you're thinking to yourself like, oh, this is the path. Like I gotta pay my dues first then I get to finally do what I wanna do at the end.
Dr. Sarah [00:24:01] Yes. Yes, exactly. Exactly. So even though I felt like that. My clients would never know. Cause I pick up the phone. "Hey, this is Dr. Sarah Ellis. Thank you for calling Ellis Family Wellness. How can I help you?" I'm chipper. I'm happy. I hang the phone. Ugggh... uggh aah. It's so much work.
Chris Ellis [00:24:21] And I feel like, you know, I feel like this is cultural too. Cause I feel like that's what we think being an adult is we're like, oh, we think being an adult is grind, grind, grind for something that gives you benefits, but doesn't really fulfill you. Doesn't make you happy and then do what you can on the back end. You just gotta power through it until you get into a more comfortable situation.
Dr. Sarah [00:24:43] And when you're in entrepreneurial circles, they're all like, you know, the first few years are tough and they are I'm not gonna say that they're not. They're, they're difficult. But it's a level of difficulty that comes along with satisfaction. You know, you should be getting a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from that, that exactly... that negates the difficulties. Whereas in my case, honey, that satisfaction and you know, all of that was short lived.
Chris Ellis [00:25:15] Hmmm. Cause it feels almost like, what are you working for?
Dr. Sarah [00:25:19] Yeah. And, you know, I remember, I think you remember this. There was a moment in office.
Dr. Sarah [00:25:25] I just kind like broke down crying because I was just like, I'm not offering the best care to my clients. And all I wanna do is help people.
Chris Ellis [00:25:35] Right.
Dr. Sarah [00:25:35] All I wanna do is, is use this practice and this platform to help people live better, be healthier and it just felt like I was coming up against a brick wall.
Chris Ellis [00:25:50] Mm. And that's a good point because I didn't even think about that too. It's not only that you have to help whoever you need to help and they may not be your ideal client. The people that you started out to do this for, but it's also, you wanna be able to do a very good job.
Chris Ellis [00:26:05] You wanna be very thorough and know exactly that the craft that you are performing, you're performing it to your own abilities that you know that you can. And when you have that brick and mortar business, and you don't have enough support in that brick and mortar space, a lot of times it just feels like you are rushing to get to the next person to get to the next person, to get to the next person, to get to the next person.
Chris Ellis [00:26:31] And it just leaves you with an icky feeling and I just feel like that that's a hard way to live. And I used to live like that. When I was doing call center work and stuff like that. It was so hard to know whether or not you were actually even helping anybody
Dr. Sarah [00:26:49] mm-hmm
Chris Ellis [00:26:50] because you would take calls and be like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Chris Ellis [00:26:54] And then you would be like, all right, cool. You just hang up because you gotta get to next person because the lines are going crazy.
Dr. Sarah [00:27:00] And also, I have a level of dedication that I like to give to my clients. And when I can't do that, I feel like I'm short changing them. Which they know they don't feel like that. They're like, "Oh my God, I feel so great. Like, thank you for this." And I'm like, man, but you feeling better if I had the time to, you know, break down this, this, that, and the other.
Dr. Sarah [00:27:22] Mm. So I do feel like it was affecting, at least from my perspective, I feel like it was affecting the quality of, of care that I was giving my clients.
Chris Ellis [00:27:33] There seems like there was an obvious disconnect between Dr. Sarah, the accomplished person, that proudly created this business that's doing so well, and people love so much versus the real reality that you just weren't operating in your calling. And to the degree that you were operating in it, you feel like you weren't even doing the best work that you possibly could.
Chris Ellis [00:28:01] Can you talk more about that?
Dr. Sarah [00:28:03] Yeah, because, if I'm honest... most of the people that come to see me and get my services would absolutely benefit from seeing me, but would get so much more benefit from educational materials. From being able to have resources and handouts that don't cost $150 that don't cost $85.
Dr. Sarah [00:28:30] If I just had the time to write these blog posts that I have outlined in my computer. Or to create these handouts that I could make free with my newsletter. There just weren't enough hours in the day for me to see my clients do all of the background work that's required with clinical care and then doing that part, the educational part, which is really where my heart lies.
Chris Ellis [00:28:58] Right, right. You know, I have a question just to interject a bit. Seeing this disconnect of how much people responding to you versus like how well you felt like you were doing, did you ever feel like a fraud?
Dr. Sarah [00:29:15] 100%
Dr. Sarah [00:29:17] But I think that that was multifactoral. So I felt like a fraud because they were so moved and happy with the things that I was giving them, but I knew that they could feel better.
Chris Ellis [00:29:34] Mm-hmm
Dr. Sarah [00:29:35] If I spent, was able to spend more time, you know, working on their protocol. but also I felt like a fraud because our office did not look like your traditional doctor's office. Right. Because I'm not treating or diagnosing. They would come in and be like, "Oh, where's the, the patient table," like "Where where's your stethoscope and you know, but they need you look in my ear." So that made me feel like a fraud because they would be like, "Oh, You're a doctor, but you don't, you don't have this. Oh, this interesting." And of course after talking to me and and you know going through the protocol, they were fine with it, and actually enjoyed it. But that was another reason why I kind of like... Painted myself in a corner because I was trying to be something that I could not be.
Chris Ellis [00:30:34] Yeah. I like that. You said that here. Cause that's kinda like the second time that's happened in this conversation. So I wanna point this out to everybody's listening and this is gonna be kind of like a jewel, a gem, if you will here. When it comes to being a boss, you have to stand on that.
Dr. Sarah [00:30:54] Yeah.
Chris Ellis [00:30:54] You absolutely have to stand on it. You are the boss. So whatever your business looks like, That's what it is. Yeah. That is absolutely what it is. Don't ever think that your business gotta look a certain way or it's gotta act a certain way or it's gotta have a certain type of product, or it has to be this, that, and other, because it would look more like someone else's business. Your business is not someone else's business.
Chris Ellis [00:31:23] It's your business. At the end of the day them bills got your name on it. Right. They got your name on it. You trying to mimic whoever's business that is. They pay for that outta their pocket. You know what I'm saying? Don't be trying to look like everybody else looks because a lot of times, you be mimicking businesses that are about to go under.
Chris Ellis [00:31:51] They aren't even go be here next year.
Dr. Sarah [00:31:55] Yeah. And you know, at first, when clients would come in and be kinda surprised and maybe a little off put by the fact that it didn't look like a usual, space, I would take a, an apologetic approach. I'd be like, "I know, I know. But you know, here in the state of South Carolina..." and I would always lean on the legal constraints because I felt like it showed them that, oh, I really want, but I can't.
Chris Ellis [00:32:27] And I'm not gonna lie...
Chris Ellis [00:32:28] like... I've been in the office when that's happened. And like... it has irritated me. I literally have a podcast called Boss Talk and I'm like, "Talk yo shit! Stop letting these people look look at our office and say, oh, well where's this, that and other, we don't need it because you're not gonna be doing an exam, ma'am."
Chris Ellis [00:32:50] We're not here for that. Our services are preventative. We treat the whole person. We have to interview you in relationship to that. And all we need are two chairs, table, baby. That's all we need for this right now. Yeah. So like, whatever you want do as a business person, just do it.
Chris Ellis [00:33:15] As long as the form makes sense to you, then that's what matters. Cause if you stand on the logical structure of what the form is, everybody else will too. It's just, that's what boss talk is. It's really just saying, okay. My business exists a certain way because that's the smartest way to do it.
Dr. Sarah [00:33:35] And I feel like I took that, position outta financial desperation because I didn't want to give someone, a reason to say, "Okay I'm not gonna work with you". Because if someone says they're not gonna work with me, then that's less money I'm gonna make to cover by overhead.
Chris Ellis [00:33:55] Exactly.
Chris Ellis [00:33:56] Uh, lemme transition here.
Chris Ellis [00:33:58] So ultimately a change had to happen. And here's how it happened. We ended up doing kind of a couples check in and it came out that. The only reason that you went in the direction...
Dr. Sarah [00:34:13] Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. Okay, alright. We can't say couples check in. It was couples therapy.
Chris Ellis [00:34:19] Well, I wasn't gonna say all that.
Dr. Sarah [00:34:21] Well nooo I think it's important because you and I have had conversations one on one and I did not share it with you.
Chris Ellis [00:34:30] Mm. Okay.
Dr. Sarah [00:34:30] So we've had couples checkins before, and I'd say, "Yeah it's going alright. It's going this. It's going that." But the benefit of having this type of conversation with a neutral party.
Chris Ellis [00:34:45] Mm-hmm.
Dr. Sarah [00:34:46] Creates a level of safety and vulnerability for those hidden feelings to kinda jump out like it kinda jump.
Chris Ellis [00:34:54] Yeah. Yeah. OK. OK. Couples therapy, you heard it first. Sarah and I were going through it.
Dr. Sarah [00:35:03] I ain't say all of that.
Chris Ellis [00:35:05] No, I think that, I felt like you weren't happy and, and it definitely was affecting our dynamic at home.
Chris Ellis [00:35:13] Like we just weren't like, you just seem burnt out and you just weren't feeling it. And it just was one of those things where it's just like, we obviously need like a neutral third party to help us in whatever way we can here. So yeah, we ended up having the couple's therapy session and basically realized that the reason that you went in the direction of the general practice and the brick and mortar is that you thought that that was a strategy that like I would be on board with...
Dr. Sarah [00:35:42] mm-hmm
Chris Ellis [00:35:42] so, yeah.
Chris Ellis [00:35:44] And the only reason I was on board with it, because I thought that's what you wanted to do. Yeah. So we had just this misalignment here. Yeah. And my whole thing was, oh, wow. If I knew that you had that passion for the educational side, more than the clinical side. I wouldn't have been on board with this in the first place.
Chris Ellis [00:36:06] I believe in, and you've seen this directly, let's pursue the thing that you really wanna do from jump street.
Dr. Sarah [00:36:13] Yes. Yes.
Chris Ellis [00:36:14] So that's my general philosophy.
Chris Ellis [00:36:17] So after us, both coming to that realization, it really just didn't make any sense to like, keep the doors open for a space that we really didn't need anymore. If we were going to move in this whole new direction.
Dr. Sarah [00:36:31] Yeah... And you know, from my perspective that therapy session was really the first time that I had the space and time to really work out how I got here, because all of my time was spent working at Ellis Family Wellness, trying to have a client care. And so, that was the first time I was just I literally was like didn't even want to do this in the first place. And you and our therapist was like, Scrrt, "What... what do you mean?
Dr. Sarah [00:37:12] Yeah. But I didn't even have the space to sit and think, do I like this? Do I enjoy this? What did I want do in the first?
[00:37:24] When we made the decision to close the physical location, you actually are a part of a few different online communities and communities on Facebook and stuff like that. So you actually were telling people about your decision in a particular Facebook group that was populated with like… all kinds of doctors and other professionals. you told them about it and you were actually shocked by their response. Tell me more about that.
Dr. Sarah [00:37:50] Yes. I'm a part of a, group specifically designed for, naturopathic doctors of color. And I posted about what I've been experiencing and all of that in honey, people came out of the woodwork and was like, "Girl, me too. I don't wanna do this either." Or, "It took me years of running a clinic for me to realize that I don't wanna do this." And... many, many of them were like, "Oh my God, kudos to you for realizing this early on that this isn't something that you wanna do." And, it served as confirmation that, okay, it's not just me.
Chris Ellis [00:38:37] Right.
Dr. Sarah [00:38:38] And two that it's okay. And in particular, I had, a really, really great mentor of mine. She reached out to me and was like, look, I stopped my clinical practice and I went on to work in the nutriceutical industry and I love it and I don't regret it. And if you want to leave your clinical practice and do something else, as long as it's something that you wanna do and you feel passionate about it, you do what's best for you.
Dr. Sarah [00:39:12] And. That thread really was the beginning of what I like to call my liberation.
Chris Ellis [00:39:20] Mm mm. So the beginning of that bossing up though. Yeah. You gotta stay on brand baby. What's interesting to me is that a lot of doctors will grind it out as clinicians for decades. Yeah. And then get burn out in the end and then branch out to something like consulting, writing books.
Chris Ellis [00:39:42] Yeah. Doing speaking engagements, advisory boards, etcetera. Um, I assume that this is the direction that a lot of the people in your Facebook group like had done.
Dr. Sarah [00:39:54] Yeah. A lot of them have addressed and talked about the difficulties of being in clinical practice. But still was like, "I mean, I've been in my practice for X amount of years, so I'm just gonna ride it out until I retire."
Dr. Sarah [00:40:08] Some of them have branched out into consulting and even teaching. So yeah, I was really, really thankful to see that response from that.
Chris Ellis [00:40:21] And, and I'm just talking to the people right now, but you don't have to wait that long to make a move like that. As Dr. Sarah has pointed out, if you have a degree in anything, you are not required to jump into a profession that most aligns with your training. Because here's the thing, your training does not equal your value.
Chris Ellis [00:40:48] Yeah. And a lot of people get in trouble because they're trying to capitalize on that degree, instead of seeing the value that they have to any and everybody. And yeah, I think that's the thing that we mostly overlook. I say this a million times, just like in my regular life, but if I had a law degree I wouldn't even be like, like a lawyer in a courtroom or anything like that.
Chris Ellis [00:41:18] I wouldn't be anything like that. I love art. I love art people. I love creative people. If I had a law degree, I would just spend a whole bunch of time showing young, really creative, dope ass artists how to not get robbed by the record labels. Yeah. Yeah. I would just be like, I would just be like, "oh yo, you talented, you coming up and stuff like that. Remember make sure you own your name because if you go out and you sign to these people and you decide you don't wanna do it no more, they got your name and you can't release anymore music under that name, bro. Like, yo, this is a 360 deal. Don't take that deal." like, that's what I would be doing with my law degree, because here's the thing.
Chris Ellis [00:42:04] You are not necessarily valuable for your training, but you are valuable for your insight and your experiences and your relationships that you have actually created. And that cannot really be quantified. And once you start realizing that your value is total, that's when you can start seeing the potentiality of your career to go in any number of directions that you really wanted to go. And you don't have to just stay somewhere because the degree and the qualifications will allow you to work in that space. Man, you can create a space on your own because you have actual value above and beyond whatever degree that you have.
Dr. Sarah [00:42:47] Absolutely. And I love that you tied in the importance and value of your experiences because, and I'm sure you get to like how I got this new job and everything, but it has been the most fun I have had in a very long time. And I've for a long time, I felt like an entrepreneurial sellout. Cause you know, when you're in these entrepreneurial circles, they're like, "You don't need to get a job. You need to work on this business. How you gonna build business if you work a job.' And, just had to set myself free from that because working a job does not mean you cannot build your own business.
Chris Ellis [00:43:31] Exactly.
Dr. Sarah [00:43:33] If anything, it provides you with the security to be able to step out, and, and build your own. Without worrying about how you're gonna pay your bills, how you gonna feed your family. That take that level of pressure that's off of you, that, that energy, rather than worrying about that can be put on, on your adventures and on your executing, your ideas.
Chris Ellis [00:43:59] And I'm glad you said that because there is a huge difference between, or trying to build a business when you have money. Yeah. But like, When you have money and your bills are paid, versus I'm gonna put it all on the line and quit my job. I got my savings and this, that, and that. And I, and a lot of times where people don't realize they put themselves in bad situation because they quit their jobs and stuff like that in order to build their business.
Chris Ellis [00:44:27] And it's not necessary to do all of that. Especially if you have the right business model. If you have a smart business model. If you have a cheap business model. If you're offering a service that you can afford to offer, but's also valuable for other people. If you're doing that, then there's no reason that you should have to quit your job in order to get this money out here and to secure your future.
Chris Ellis [00:44:50] And I want everybody in know this... This is not this super gungho channel where it's like, "Hey man, fuck the man. Don't work for anybody ever, you know?" It's not about that. I believe that entrepreneurship can be a gateway to getting the type of lifestyle and career and relationship with the people that you work with in the most equitable way possible.
Chris Ellis [00:45:20] Like it's all about equity. It's all about you going to a place that values you and treat you with respects and pays you what your worth. Yes. If that is entrepreneurship, if that's the only way you can get it, go for it. If you can do it by just changing jobs or going this way. Do it, man, because life is too short to be trying to prove anything to anyone.
Chris Ellis [00:45:50] And this is the heart of boss talk, man, this is the heart of being a boss. Like man, you can be a boss. If you're working, you can be a boss. If you're being an entrepreneur, you can be a boss. If you're being a venture capitalist, you can be a boss. If you just do volunteer work, you can be a boss. If you are, or working as a clergy person, you can be a boss.
Chris Ellis [00:46:08] If you're working nonprofit, it's about aligning to the things that make you most excited and happy and fulfilled, so you have the time to spend the rest of your time doing whatever you wanna do. If you don't wanna be doing paperwork and, and payroll checks and stuff like that, don't. Do something just, that makes you happy man.
Chris Ellis [00:46:33] With that said here, Did you feel like you were letting your clients or potential clients down by closing your physical doors? And tell me more about that.
Dr. Sarah [00:46:44] Yes and no.
Chris Ellis [00:46:46] Oh, okay.
Dr. Sarah [00:46:46] Um, yes, because I do have a lot of local clients who loved coming to the office and being in that, that healing space and, you know, looking at me face to face.
Dr. Sarah [00:47:01] But now I just go to their house or we meet in another, you know, location. So that's the, yes. I felt like I was letting them down with going virtually. But no, because now I have the space and latitude to give them the kinda care that they deserve and reach more people. Absolutely. So that, that's my answer to that.
Dr. Sarah [00:47:28] Yes and no.
Chris Ellis [00:47:29] Okay. So fast forward months later, you still have your online platform. You have. Yeah, you have, I'm gonna run it down, baby. You have the online platform. You have like two podcasts.
Dr. Sarah [00:47:45] Yeah... well, technially three but...
Chris Ellis [00:47:48] like I was gonna say, I, I knew I messed up that number. I was like, I know she has at least two, I should have said at least two, but whatever.
Chris Ellis [00:47:54] Um, you just stuntin' for no reason, that's fine. You have your health coaching practice and in this case here, you actually get to pick and choose your clients. And you are working for a top tier probiotic and supplemental provider. And you're working as a clinical science liaison for the Eastern Seaborn.
Chris Ellis [00:48:15] Oh Lord. You fancy. You bossy. And you still have the products that you actually developed in your business. Like... the natural tea for sleeping anxiety that we worked on. So with that said here, is it safe say that you are doing better ever professionally?
Dr. Sarah [00:48:36] Yes. Very safe to say yes. A hundred percent.
Chris Ellis [00:48:42] 100%. What you learned from this entire experience?
Dr. Sarah [00:48:49] So much. Where do I even start? I have learned to trust my gut. I have learned that.
Dr. Sarah [00:48:59] My, my gut and my instinct and God, and my ancestors. They are continuously guiding me. And the desires of my heart are placed there for a reason. Mm-hmm I have learned that I bring so much value to my, my clients and, my company, when I'm able to exist in my complete authentic self. And that means focusing on the aspects of care that I love the most. Which is teaching education, research. You know that I am one of the biggest nerds. Okay. when I found out in this job that I was literally getting paid to read research articles and like explain and dispurse them to people I'm like, "Ahhhhh".
Chris Ellis [00:49:57] Yeah that was right up your alley.
Dr. Sarah [00:49:59] Right up my alley.
Dr. Sarah [00:50:01] OK. I get paid to do this friend? Say less, say less.
Dr. Sarah [00:50:06] And that's how I wanted to feel about my private practice. And now I get to feel that way about kinda everything I have going on right now. I have time and space to work on my passion projects. I get to be present for my children who are growing and changing every minute of every day. I get to be present in our relationship and in our marriage and I get to be present for me.
Dr. Sarah [00:50:36] You know, I get to have the space to be able to sit back and say, okay, Sarah, you know, my therapist and I have been working on this, like, what is my intention for the day? Not what I wanna accomplish, not the things I need to check off my to-do list, but what kind of day am I intending to have overall? And being able to have the space and mental capacity to, to process that has been life changing and life saving, to be honest.
Chris Ellis [00:51:12] What would you tell someone that was on the fence about going after their dream? Because they're locked into something that everyone else says they should be doing.
Dr. Sarah [00:51:27] Do what is in your heart. Close your eyes, and think about what you wanna do when you wake up. When you wake up in the morning that alarm goes off and your feet hit the floor, what do you wanna be doing?
Dr. Sarah [00:51:41] And if it's the thing that people say you're amazing at great at then wonderful .Keep doing that. But if it's the other thing or a bunch of other things, then that's what you need to be doing. And I fully believe in the saying that came from the Alchemist, the universe support us. It does everything to push us forward towards our dreams and towards the life that we should be leading.
Dr. Sarah [00:52:15] All we have to do is do our part and it's scary, terrifying, and hard, but I have no regrets. I have not one single regret about transitioning my practice to being virtual and joining my company.
Chris Ellis [00:52:39] This was really good to have you on because it reveals a lot of things about the underside of having a business and the dark side and understanding that business is great. But if you are going into it with the wrong intentions, if you're going into it with a fearful mentality, or let me just like, do what everybody else is doing mentality, and you're not standing on your own two feet... if you're not bossing up from the beginning, when it comes to creating your business, you are setting yourself up for, a really, really bumpy ride should you pursue it?
Chris Ellis [00:53:26] So I wanna actually just say that, but to close this out here... I'll say these last words, being a boss first and foremost is always about doing things that align with your calling. Activities that bring you joy and purpose. Understand that quitting is never failure when it realigns you with the activities that are most important to you. I want you to remember. Bosses never quit. We just restructure.
Chris Ellis [00:54:09] And that's it. And we'll see you next. Thank you very much for having Dr. Sarah Ellis N.D. On the podcast, clinical science liaison
Chris Ellis [00:54:25] having, uh, uh, um, just a great mom, great wife. I'm just gonna use this space to just say as many compliments as possible. I just want this all to fade out on this amazing conversation and I will edit it as such, but I love you, babe.
Dr. Sarah [00:54:44] Thanks for having me and I love you too.
Chris Ellis [00:54:46] I can't wait to have you back on a podcast. I know that people will be asking, so that's what's gon' happen.
Dr. Sarah [00:54:52] You might as well just join me on our own podcast, but whatever friend.
Chris Ellis [00:54:56] Ah this is the part where I was just fade it oooout.