Have I got a treat for you, Healthpreneurs! Today, we’re welcoming Adrienne Nolan-Smith, founder of WellBe, onto the show to talk about her inspiring journey and the importance of sharing your authentic voice.
Adrienne is a board-certified patient advocate, and her company’s mission is to bridge the gap between the wellness movement and the healthcare system. Because of her experience, Adrienne is driven to transform the healthcare system to one that is more root cause-driven.
She believes that all entrepreneurs should have a fundamental grasp on all aspects of their business, especially the ones that involve your company’s message and voice. She has taken drastic, intentional steps to preserve her voice and branding on social media channels. Tune in to hear what matters in marketing and how you can avoid getting lost in the noise.
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In This Episode Adrienne and I discuss:
- Her personal journey and how it impacted her choice to work in the wellness industry.
- Her education and BCPA certification.
- Selecting the right healthcare providers and why patient advocacy is important.
- Preserving your voice to maintain your brand.
- What matters in marketing,
3:00 – 19:30 – Her journey, education, and board certification
19:30 – 25:30 – Adrienne’s journey with Lyme disease and her mother
25:30 – 31:00 – What she has learned for business and life
31:00 – 38:00 – Marketing and the importance of preserving your authentic voice
38:00 – 47:00 – The Rapid Five
What You Missed:
In our last episode, we talked about doing less and getting more done. It’s all about working smarter, not harder, so you can create more impact and make more money while putting in less hours.
There are some easy ways to do this, including strategic scheduling, delegating, and discovering your “YOUnique Genius.”
If you’re at the point in your business where you’re ready to enjoy more freedom, tune in to find out what you can do to finally get your time back.
Healthpreneurs, what’s going on? Yuri here. Hope your day is going awesome. So welcome back to the show. We’ve got a really great episode for today, got a really cool guest on the show. Her name is Adrienne Nolan-Smith, and she is the founder of a really cool platform called getwellbe.com.
In this episode we’re going to talk a little bit about some personal tragedies that happened to Adrienne that led her into doing what she’s doing now, and I think it’s a really inspiring story to listen to, because I think a lot of us can resonate with it.
She’s gone through two major traumas that led her to what she’s doing now, but I’m sure in her story you’ll be able to see yourself in some way, shape, or form, because most of us in the health space get into this field because of some type of challenge, trauma, issue that dealt with when we were younger, and we simply want to solve this for ourselves or others.
This is going be a really, really cool inspiring episode.
Let me give you a little bit of background about who Adrienne is. Again, she’s a board-certified patient advocate, and we’ll talk about what that is in this episode as well. As I mentioned, she’s the founder of getwellbe.com, which is a media company aimed at bridging the gap between the wellness movement and the healthcare system. I’m not going to ruin her backstory because I think she’ll share that with us in this interview, but she went through some really big challenges when she was 12 and 13 years old, something even more devastating happened to her when she was 25, and as a result of that, she jumped into this field.
She spent several years working in healthcare technology with hospitals so that she could be on the frontline of seeing what was happening with the medical system. She holds a BA from Johns Hopkins, and got her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
So, with that said, let’s bring Adrienne onto the show and let’s jump into her story, and how she’s taken those challenges and turned them into a really great platform that is now helping a lot of people improve their health.
Adrienne, welcome to the Healthpreneur podcast. How are you doing?
Adrienne: I’m doing well Yuri, thank you for having me.
Yuri: You are very welcome, thanks for joining me. I’m excited to have you on the show, because you’ve been through some pretty cool things in your life, both good and bad, but I believe everything happens for us, not to us, so we can jump into some of that in a moment.
You run a great website, it’s called getwellbe.com, guys check it out, it’s really, really cool.
What inspired you? Why a website? Why not just a physical location to bring people in and help them with their health? Why a website, and what was the impetus for starting that up?
Her personal journey and how it impacted her choice to work in the wellness industry
Adrienne: Yeah, as you mentioned there’s so many different ways, once you sort of have something that happen to you, or somebody that you love, or just when you realize there’s a different way to approach health, and that most people are doing it quite differently and struggling with a lot of things. Once you realize that, you really want to help people, as you do, and I’m sure all of your listeners, and that happened to me. I was thinking a lot of about the fact that there’s so many different ways to approach that. As you mentioned, you could have patients, or start a store or a restaurant and have clients that way, you can do consulting, corporate wellness. The wellness industry has so much going on, but I have to say, I didn’t ever feel like science and math were really my strong points. I didn’t want to have to back to school and deal with that. I’m decent at math, but science? Whoa, not really.
I thought wow, if I was going to see patients or have a physical location where I sold a product, I’d be able to touch people in that way, but I thought maybe if I could touch people with stories, and really show that there were experts who were not weird, or crazy, or hippy, or crunchy, or whatever all these stigmas are that people have of the integrative health world, and the wellness world and movement. That they could see themselves in that experience, and perhaps start to change and be a bit more open-minded as to the way that they live every day. Also, when they do have health issues, how they could approach those with the right care team so they could really get to the root cause of the problems, and maybe see different kinds of practitioners that helped me, like naturopaths, and herbalists, and acupuncturists and all that which, to a large part of the American population, seems sort of off-limits culturally, and it’s a bit stigmatized still. It’s certainly the insurance system that makes that the case.
For me I wanted to start with content, and I know that would mean I would be spending a bit more than I was making in the beginning, but I thought that would be the best way to approach getting to a larger audience, and then understanding what those people who are really attracted to the kinds of things that I was talking about, and the kinds of content, and stories that I was making, what they really needed on top of that for me.
So yeah, that was my thought process.
Her education and BCPA certification
Yuri: Awesome. Walk me through two things, number one, you did your MBA, you got all that great business background, which is something I think a lot of listeners don’t have them. There might be a few, but most people kind of jump into business. How does having that background, how has that helped you in what you’re doing right now? And second, you’re also a board-certified patient advocate. I’ve never heard that before. What exactly is that?
Adrienne: Yes. So it’s a pretty new board certification. Well, let me talk about the MBA thing first. For the people listening who don’t know the background of my story and why I’m doing what I’m doing, it’s a long story, but the major catalyst was that I lost my mom to suicide in December, 2010, after about a five year battle being in and out of different mental hospitals, for extended in-patient stays. She’d had a couple of different manic episodes, and they had diagnosed her with schizophrenia disorder, and put her on lots of very, very heavy anti-psychotics and anti-depressants., which, as you know, kind of makes you into a bit of a zombie. When she took her life it was just a few days before Christmas, and it was also two weeks before my applications for business school was due.
Anybody who’s done this process knows that it’s almost a two-year process, because you have to study for the GMAT, which is pretty difficult to get into business school for, gosh, almost a year. Then get recommendations from your employer, and gather everything that you need from your undergrad experience. So I had worked really hard to try to get in, and the reason for going was that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I was working at IBM and didn’t think that was really my calling.
The health stuff for me, the integrative health and wellness stuff for my life, had always been just a hobby, or things that I was doing because of things that had happened to me. You know, I was that friend in my group of friends that everyone went to, and kind of made fun of for the way the ate, and the all the supplements that I took, and all the weird, quote unquote, “weird” practitioners I always went to. It wasn’t really until this experience that I thought, “Wow, this is a disaster with the healthcare system.” When I really gave my mom into, really trusted the conventional healthcare system with her care, and her life, was when it failed me the most. I only trusted it halfway, and took things into my own hands, is when I was able to have great success with my health, which was being cured of chronic Lyme disease as a middle schooler, and then later getting my period back, which is called amenorrhea, after two years of not having it all through natural processes, and avoiding the birth control pill and all that.
Other than small IBS issues and other things which aren’t that small in the long run, but compared to the other things that I’d gone through, they didn’t seem that big. So, at that exact moment, I told myself that I would dedicate the rest of my life to trying to transform the healthcare system to one that was really more root-cause driven, and that approach, the entire concept of chronic disease with wellness and integrative health in mind. And really only going, to what I call the nuclear weapons, of the healthcare system, which are drugs, surgeries, and radiation in emergency and acute situations. From a long-term perspective, both with mental illness and with chronic physical illness, it’s just not really a solution, right? It’s just band aiding system.
I got the MBA because I basically really prayed to her, and to anyone that was listening, to get me through to at least finishing one or two of these applications. I had set out to do four or five, and then use that as the opportunity to switch career paths, and work to fix the healthcare system. When I got into the Kellogg School at Northwestern in Chicago that March, it really felt predestined like, “Okay, she helped me in. I’m gonna have to go.” Even though it was moving away from family just six months after she died, to a place I didn’t know anybody, and really doing everything I could while I was there to learn what I needed to learn to make this happen.
It’s a long-winded way of saying the MBA did not really help me that much in what I’m doing right now, because it definitely helped me to get a job in healthcare technology, and work with hospitals for three years after I got out. But that was very much in the conventional healthcare system. I was able to see exactly what I thought was wrong, and proven to be as wrong as I thought. So that was good.
But, you know, traditional MBA programs, it’s changing a lot now, but I know this sounds ridiculous, but sort of before Instagram became what it is today, and digital marketing, it was really only about desktop digital marketing, and Google-driven digital marketing, right? So SCO, and SCM and having a product, and putting an ad on Google and hoping people see it and come to your website.
I learned as much as I could about that sort of thing, but I was also forced to spend a lot of my time learning about traditional business. And maybe later in my life it will come back to be very helpful, sort of factory operations, and corporate financial accounting, and things that are pretty different from running a small business, and understanding email and social marketing, and things like that. I would say I had to do a lot of, I had to basically give myself an MBA in a very different time, in the last year, year and a half that I’ve been doing this full-time. But certainly I believe as you do, that everything happened for a reason, and I would never be where I am today had I not made that decision and gone when I did. Because I would have let the grief and the loss overtake me, and just stay at IBM for a long time and not follow any dreams. And maybe I would have felt stuck, like I was too far along to fully switch and all of that. So that’s the MBA piece.
Board certified patient advocate is a certification that was only given for the first time in early 2018, so I was part of the first crop that sat for the board exam. I did so because I had learned about it and sort of followed it for years that they were trying to establish this as a real role, and it’s slightly different from health coaching in the sense that patient advocates have to really understand how to interact with the healthcare system which, from having worked in it, and especially with hospitals, I was pretty familiar with. But really also understand what people, all the different treatment options that somebody could have, and sort of open their eyes and show them the different options so that they don’t feel like they went to one doctor, and the one doctor said this, and that’s what they have to do because it’s part of their insurance, or whatever it might be, and try to figure other ways that they could heal.
Certainly the people, if I’m ever using it in a professional capacity, in a coaching capacity, or being hired by private clients which, at the moment I’m a little too busy with WellBe to do, but I might. It would be people that really are interested in a natural first approach, or getting to the root cause of health, and therefore being more integrative in their approach, whether that’s with MDs, or other kinds of practitioners. And so I’d be able to navigate and speak on their behalf if they didn’t feel empowered to do so, about what they need, and what they’re …
You hear about the term “a birth plan” for women, and I think that everyone who’s going through a chronic health issue should have a care plan. It’s not something that a one doctor gives to patient, it’s what the patient really wants and can go and shop different doctors and see who agrees with that care plan, and who really will strive to find that root cause, and when needed, use those nuclear weapons, that is an important tool to have in the tool belt. But if somebody fundamentally disagrees with the way that you would like to approach your life, and your health and healing, that’s really not a doctor that I think you should have to deal with.
So finding the right people who are going to really respect your life and your care plan, and heal you, is really important. So I think that’s part of why the patient advocacy certification was put together, and why I ended up sitting for the board exam. I did it before too much of health tech, and conventional healthcare knowledge left me, which was great. A lot of the details that I had to learn about some of the more intricate parts of the Medicaid and Medicare system were still fresh, at the top of my mind.
Yuri: That’s awesome. It makes a lot of sense now that you explain it. It’s funny, we have a client who at one of our workshops a couple of months ago was talking about it. So she’s a naturopathic doctor, and what she was really passionate about was being that kind of middle person between the patient and the caregiver. And we were talking about yeah, kind of like a cancer advocate, and that’s the term we came up with in that session, and I didn’t even know about the fact that there was this type of certification, which is amazing. I do think that a lot of patients are in a position where they’re not given all the facts, or maybe they’re not in a position of true power to make the best decisions for themselves. I think it’s amazing that having people like you now that are certified to be that kind of middle person, can be huge in helping them make the right decisions moving forward.
Adrienne: Yeah, absolutely. I think cancer is where this is from. It’s the most extreme example of somebody who is at a place where they now have to very quickly enter the healthcare system and interact with a ton of different kinds of providers and treatments. There’s so many different approaches to cancer treatment, even based on the kind of the cancer, but also the stage, and what you’re interested in trying, and what you’re willing to do. Of course, everything also has downsides. If you’re in intensive chemo there’s a lot of problems with that, but that might be exactly what you want, or you really don’t want. Cancer is a really important example, and I think that probably pushed that along to become a proper board certification.
But, I think that that could be the case even in trying to figure out why you have a low thyroid, or why you have migraines, or why you have IBS, or any of these things where there’s a lot of different reasons it could be happening, and lot of different opinions based on the caregiver, or practitioner, or provider what it might be and what the best approach is for that.
You could get, if you’re not a nerd like me and really excited about research, and enjoy doing that, you could get really overwhelmed, and yet it’s almost like they can sniff it out if you don’t know how to understand and read research, and understand and advocate for all of the options and what you what. If there’s somebody who’s willing to do that for you, or doesn’t mind being firm with providers, they will maybe kind of do what’s easiest for them, or fastest for them, or what they know, right? It’s a lot of work when doctors have to see patients all day, in the fee for service system, to go and research something maybe a little bit more experimental, a little bit different.
A lot of times, what I’ve seen, is you have to bring things to them, and that’s really hard to do if you don’t know how to read research, if you don’t understand the difference between an observational study, or double blind clinical trial, and causal, or association, and all this kind of thing. You need somebody who’s going to be comfortable speaking that language, and I think that’s why the patient advocate, as a certification, was born, whether it’s for cancer or anything else.
Adrienne’s journey with Lyme disease and her mother
Yuri: Yeah. Well you had Lyme disease when you were very young. Had you had some type of patient advocate at the time, do you think that would have facilitated, maybe expedited the healing process? Amazingly, so you healed from Lyme disease when you were 13-years-old, but how long before that were you diagnosed with Lyme?
Adrienne: I was diagnosed about two years, I would say, before my symptoms really started to dissipate, and it seemed like I was better. Now I’m sure … I don’t know how much you know about Lyme, but the testing is super-challenging, and inaccurate. My Lyme is inactive but there’s isn’t a “you have it or you don’t test”. There’s bands, it says there’s an initial marker, it’s somewhere in you but then it says it’s inactive, I think similar to herpes, or Epstein-Barr. There’s an exposure to an actual active disease.
We never saw a bullseye, and my mom was really an incredible patient advocate, very fierce, and definitely the reason that I am better today, is because she was such a avid researcher, and really took every possible opinion on earth and kept going to different people, and never really gave up and said, “Okay, well let’s just do this,” or whatever. It was an endless fight.
Of course when you’re in middle school, that means you’re getting dragged around to a million doctors and practitioners, and you’re just exhausted by it, on top of having Lyme which makes you exhausted. But it was really the way to do it, because all of these different approaches, it’s very hard to say exactly what worked. But I did so many different things and something worked, and I got better after two years. But we don’t know if I had Lyme for about a year, or maybe two, or maybe three years before I was diagnosed. It was definitely more than six months because we did try the Doxycycline antibiotics protocol, which is what most people would say you can do to heal acute Lyme that way.
But, since that didn’t work, that showed them that it had been in me long enough so that now it could skirt around where the antibiotics would be able to find it.
Yuri: Yeah, that’s crazy. I mean, it’s such a debilitating disease. Unfortunately I know a lot of people who have it now, and one our team members, he’s been sidelined for almost three years now. The problem was that they didn’t know what it was for so long, and it’s almost turned into one of those diseases that’s like, “Well, we can’t figure out, it must be Lyme, or something of that nature.” It’s scary. Considering that there’s so much more diagnosis available now, that there’s just more, I guess, prevalence of it, compared to maybe 20 or 30 years ago.
But what did you learn about yourself in terms of your mentality? Going through Lyme is obviously challenging, you lost your mother when you were 25. How did you grow as a person during those different episodes?
Adrienne: Yeah, well they were pretty different, I think, because I was being led, when I’m 11 to 13, going through that. She was really in charge and getting me to care, and really felt responsible and all of that. I was just kind of going around and doing the things I was told, and kind of pushing back a bit, because who wants to take Chinese herbal teas that smell terrible to school? You know people, “What on earth?” And eating all these weird things, and a million supplements and all this stuff. But, oh gosh, I even spent three weeks one summer when I was in the healing process, in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy center in Amish country Pennsylvania, you know, just staying in a motel with my mom, and my brother who was also very sick at the time. Long story, for another time. But that was brutal.
Same with trying a different treatment in Minnesota the previous summer for many weeks. So that was more like, “Oh man, this is a drag. But I’ll do it because I can’t remember anything and I’m so tired.” That was basically the two major things for me that showed me I was so sick. I had no energy, I couldn’t get up and do anything, I needed to sit down all the time and I slept a lot.
The experience of my mom having this manic episode when I was 20, and then being in this really intensive, horrible situation for the five years until she took her life, that was more me having to be a caretaker and understanding when I was needed and needed to be the adult. And that’s very different. There’s a lot more, you feel a lot more responsibility and guilt when things don’t work out, or that you don’t feel you’re there enough. And also more anger, because you realize, “Gosh, I’m calling these doctors, I’m asking for these things and they’re not really getting back to me, or they’re not taking it very seriously. Or they don’t consider this to be kind of an emergency until it’s over, and then they don’t take responsibility either.” Right? They’re not gonna, “Oh, we’re sorry that happened,” but a lot of the drugs that they put her on have suicidal ideations, and depression as a side effect. So shouldn’t that be something that they should take responsibility for? But no, that’s not really how it works.
I would say growing as a person, for me, was just realizing that things are gonna happen in your life, and that you need, no matter what role you played or whatever, you need to able to shed this sense of, “I should’ve, I could’ve,” and kind of rehashing, playing back things in your mind that you can’t change, because it’s really toxic and inflammatory. Yeah, there’s no good that comes of that, and you can’t progress in your life if you hang on things. So whether that’s with illness or with business, there’s going to be so many mistakes.
Oh my gosh, in just the last year that I’ve launched WellBe, or 13 months, so many things I would have done differently, or didn’t know at the time, or would have done from the beginning and wasted money on this or that. But there’s really just no good comes of thinking that way, and you should just really focus on, “Wow, I’m glad I figured that out, and I’m glad that I’m doing things that maybe are smarter now.” Or, “I’m glad I’m growing in this area that was stagnant for the first six months,” or, “I found this great person, and even though that I meant I had somebody on my team that wasn’t this person for a while. Oops. But doesn’t matter. You have to just kind of move on.” I think the way that you can do that is both, obviously working in your own head, but getting things out and talking to people so that they can show you that you’re not to blame, or guilt doesn’t do anything, or they would want you to be happy, or whatever it might be.
Two very different ways that I grew, but both really important and powerful.
What she has learned for business and life
Yuri: Yeah, that’s great. So speaking of some of these, knowing what you know now type of experiences, from the inception of the business what is, I guess, on really, glaring … I don’t want to call it a mistake, let’s call it a learning challenge, an obstacle that knowing what you know now, you would have approached things a bit differently with that type of hindsight?
Adrienne: Yeah, oh man. Just one.
Yuri: Just one, I know. Every day there’s something, right?
Adrienne: I know. It really is. Well, I would say that when you’re trying to build something from scratch, there’s really no way to do it without getting other people to help you, as I’m sure you know, and people who really know what they’re doing. But, at the same time, it’s really to fundamentally get what is happening, even if it’s development, and code, and stuff like that you don’t really understand. My site was built incorrectly the first time, and now I’ve had to go onto two or three other developers to try to get it fixed, and pay for that work, and it couldn’t have been slower because of the way they built it when it first launched. A launch is a really big opportunity and I still, again, don’t have any regrets because you just have to move along and you can fix things.
But outsourcing too much to people either on your team, or freelancers, or whatever it might be. If you don’t fundamentally understand it so that you can oversee it and catch things as they happen, things can get really far away from you. If you have, let’s say somebody on your team who’s been really responsible for one thing, but they’re not necessarily the best fit for you or the business … Excuse me.
Yuri: Bless you.
Adrienne: Thank you. Then when you might need to make a switch, if they have been doing something that you know nothing about, and let’s say you had to do it yourself for a couple of weeks, or a couple of months until you found a better fit, you might not be able to, or you definitely can’t. So you feel a bit panicked, or a bit tied to them, and that could be a really toxic situation.
I think having, especially when you’re starting out in such a small business, everything that you’re doing, having an understanding of how to do it, even if somebody’s helping you with it, so that you don’t feel not in control of the things that are really crucial to your business.
Yuri: Yeah, I totally agree with that. It’s important, I think, to have that fundamental overview, a basic understanding of the different elements of your business. Because, as you said, if you delegate too much, and I’ve seen this so many times, especially in a health space, where you have this expert, naturopathic doctor, a chiro, or whoever they are, they’re like, “I just want to teach, I just want to share my content. I don’t want to worry about the marketing,” and they partner up with some marketing team, or a marketing person, and then that person leaves, or their business kind of goes haywire and they separate, and now they’ve lost arguably the most important part of their business, which is marketing. And whether it’s coding of the website, or basic understanding of customer service stuff, at the end of the day we are the CEO or the visionary, the owner of our business. We have to have a general understanding the different components because, as you mentioned, it’s not good if things go south.
And plus you might get taken for a ride. I mean, if you have a developer quoting you X number of dollars for a website, and you’re like, “Well, I know better than that, that’s insane,” you have a better of understanding of what to so.
No, that’s a great learning and great insight that I think our listeners will get some really good value from.
Adrienne: Yeah, and one more thing to add to that. Especially people that see patients, or teach, but want to have content because it’s important as an acquisition tool, or because they think what they’re talking about is important for people to know. If they’re outsourcing that too much or, for example, a lot of my business is now in Instagram, a lot of my audience, and so at first I’d had somebody on my team who was from the writing and editorial space and was therefore writing a lot of things for the site. We were sort of doing it together, but it was separate enough, or she had enough influence that my voice, and the kind of the things that I thought were really, really, really important for people to know, and there’s so many voices out there that if your voice is even a fraction off, or the voice you’re putting out there is even a fraction off from your voice, then people can sniff that out. That’s not really 100% you, or they’re just not clicking with it because there’s so many voices out there.
So then you might just become another Self magazine, or whatever Prevetion.com, it could be anything. And so when I started really taking control of what I was every piece of thing that I was putting out there, whether it was what we were writing for the site, or the captions for all of my social posts, it’s a combination of factors, but that was really the hockey stock for my growth. It just made me realize that you have to be so true to yourself, and good enough for a caption, is not good enough because it has to be something that you feel like, “This is great. This is exactly what would say, and this is exactly what I’m feeling today and that’s why I’m putting this out there.” And people really picked up on that, more than I realized that they would.
So a voice in branding and in marketing is so, so crucial to stand out in this space, because there’s just so much noise.
Marketing and the importance of preserving your authentic voice
Yuri: It’s huge. I talk about this with our audience, and marketing is sharing your beliefs. You know, if you’re not sharing your voice, if you’re sharing your perspective on what it is you’re bringing to the world, you’re not going to stand out, as you said, and I really believe that just as a message is important, the messenger is just as important. I think it’s important because a lot of people come onto this space and they feel like they’ve got a thousand pound gorilla on their back, which is too much competition, and I agree that there is too much competition if you do what everyone else does. But if, like you said, the hockey stick, that inflection point in your business was when you started sharing your voice. That’s when people connect with us. That’s when you will find your tribe of people, and it doesn’t matter who else is what they’re sharing, because the right people resonate with your message.
I’m happy you brought that up because I completely agree with you on that. That’s so important.
Adrienne: Yeah, no it’s amazing, and I have been spending money on other marketing tools, and just stopped all that. I just really focused on making sure that every single post that went out felt really what I was feeling or thinking that day, and stuff that I thought was really important to share. Once I did that, it was wild. I made such a difference. Oh, and images that I thought were really beautiful images are such a piece of it. Just a generic image of anything, don’t use it. You have to feel like, “Oh, this is really my look and feel. This is super-beautiful to me. I would like this in an Instagram, or I would open this article because this just really resonates with me,” if it’s in my email, or whatever.
And then, it’s amazing, people can feel that third party. If you love it, somehow even if they’re not just like you, they’re gonna feel that and be like, “Oh, I like this branding.”
Yuri: Yup, no that’s great. I mean social media has changed the way the game is played guys. You have to be native to social. You can’t just be promoting nonsense and plugging stuff that is not congruent with you. And even if you’re advertising, we do a lot of Facebook advertising. We teach our clients how to deploy that stuff for themselves too, and a lot of what we do and teach is very different from the traditional type of advertising advise that’s been given over the years. Because, you know, stuff on Facebook or Instagram, where you’ve got your logo in the image, and an image of your products, people don’t care about that any more. We’ve seen so many ads, and we’ve so many offers that we become blind to thing, and you have to really fit in. Blend in to stand out is our philosophy.
And I agree. Using those type of images that are true to you, or that would be something that you would naturally post in your own profile. These are the types of things people are gonna resonate with, and if you’re listening to this, and you’re trying to do things that you’re trying to shortcut the system, it’s not gonna work. So, take this message to heart if you’re listening to this, ‘because it is important.
So Adrienne, this has been really, really insightful, really awesome. Thank you so much for sharing what you shared so far. Before we get into the rapid five, where can everyone follow you online?
Adrienne: Thank you Yuri. I would say, first and foremost we’re most active on Instagram, so Instagram.com/getwellbe, it’s G-E-T-W-E-L-L-B-E, and then if you’re not on Instagram, we also are active on Facebook, but we would love to have you as part of community of newsletter subscribers. We send out a weekly newsletter with our newest original content, and any other announcements, like this podcast would in there, and other research and stuff that we dissect. That is just getwellbe.com, and then you can just easily subscribe to the newsletter from there.
So those are kind of the two best places, I think, to be part of our community is really Instagram and our newsletter.
Yuri: Awesome. It’s so cool that almost everyone uses Instagram as their main social platform. It’s sounds like Facebook is not even part of the discussion any more, it’s so interesting.
Adrienne: I don’t know what it is, but that was a big part of why I ended up just jumping off the cliff, and leaving my job in health tech to do this, because I saw this amazing community evolving in the integrative and functional space on Instagram, where I could interact with people who felt like me, but also my doctors that I admired were on there actively, and we could message, and comment. Nowhere else have I seen that, and I just thought that was so neat. I knew that if I wanted to talk about this movement, and be in this space that it really had to be on Instagram.
Yuri: Yeah, and it helps if you get organic reach. I think Facebook, you post something, no one sees it, it’s not really enticing for many people to do anything on Facebook.
Adrienne: Right? It’s wild how little people get to see the things that we see on Facebook versus Instagram. Yeah, it’s just wild. I don’t know why they’ve done that, but anyway …
Yuri: They want us to pay to play, that’s probably why.
Adrienne: Right, and I’m very stubborn now because I’ve been seeing good growth without paying.
The Rapid Five
Yuri: I know, totally. Well anyways, let’s get to the rapid five. I want to dig into this. So rapid fire questions, whatever comes top of mind if probably the right answer. So, you ready?
Yuri: All right, here we go.
Number one, what is your biggest weakness?
Adrienne: Probably I get overwhelmed easily, and self-doubt.
Yuri: I don’t think anyone can relate to that, so you’re alone in that one.
Number two, what is your biggest strength?
Adrienne: I would say connecting with people, and being really passionate about my mission, and that I think people feel that, and get on board in a way that I never really expected, and I’ve been really so touched and surprised by how many people have reached out to say that I’ve sort of touched something in them that they’ve never felt before.
Yuri: Awesome, good for you.
And number three, what’s one skill you’ve become dangerously good at in order to forward your business?
Adrienne: Oh. Oh, gosh, one skill I’ve been dangerously good at.
Yuri: Right, and had to develop?
Adrienne: I’ve had to develop. Well, I got to a ton of events. I’m in New York City, and I go a ton of conferences and panels, at least one a week I would say. Sometimes, on full weekend days, or two full days, or whatever it might be, and I just try to talk to everybody on earth who might there, and try to live blog a lot of really interesting information for our Instagram audience and our Instagram stories, and so many incredible relationships and opportunities have come out of doing that. But it’s really hustling. There are days I don’t feel at all like going to something from 6:30 to 8:00 that’s a conference, or a panel, or a workshop, or whatever, after work, and I’m just totally beat. But I sort of force myself, and that’s been really rewarding. So I think it’s a skill that I’ve become pretty good at, is just talking to anybody, not feeling awkward about it, going up to people, just saying, “Hi, what are you doing here? Who are you?”
I think it’s been great. I’ve gotten … It’s just so much easier to connect with another brand, or somebody can help you, or influence, or whatever it might be, if they can meet you in person and see that you’re not a weirdo and you’re just trying to help people and grow, yeah. That’s been great.
Yuri: Yup, I totally agree with you. That was the biggest catalyst to my business, for sure.
Number four, what do you do first thing in the morning?
Adrienne: So, I don’t want to say that this is a seven day a week thing, because I think that when I hear about people’s morning routines, there’s just no way that a lot of them are realistic.
Yuri: I’ve got a 20 part morning routine.
Adrienne: … thing in the morning. Yeah, no. There’s no way that’s true.
Yuri: Yeah, exactly.
Adrienne: Most mornings, these days in the last, I’d say, six months or so, I’ve been trying to get up and get out the door. Well, I drink water with some lemon juice and take a probiotic, that’s the first thing I do. And then I try to get up and get out the door to the Hudson River, which is pretty close to my apartment, and just get that sunshine, and do a five to ten minute yoga and stretching routine on the grass and then, if I can fit it in, also do a five to ten minute, I strive for ten, meditation routine as well out there, sort of looking at the water.
And the reason for that being, like there’s so many different things that we know about being outside and on grass, and in nature, and especially sunshine early in the morning that just is so therapeutic as a human, on a basic level, where you know, just a mammal. That even I think a lot of people don’t quite understand it is, and just to walk with my body. So it’s at least a 20 minute kind of walk, round trip, and I think that just sets me off on such a better path for the day. You know, if I don’t sleep well, or if I have to rush and do something, I don’t get to do that whole 45 minute thing. But that’s what I’ve been doing lately, and I think it’s just making a huge difference. I would advocate for first thing in the morning, moving, getting some sunlight, and doing stretching, and you’ll feel so much better doing everything else.
Yuri: That’s great, awesome advice.
And finally, complete this sentence: I know I’m being successful when .
Adrienne: I know I’m being successful when I hear from people about some of the nuances that I wasn’t sure other people could really see or get about what I’m trying to do. And when they really nail it, and then they feel compelled to write into the website, or on Instagram, or come up to me at one of our events or panels, I think, “Wow. Okay, this was something that I thought was a bit subconscious, and they are really, really getting it, and that means that I’m at least doing something right.”
And then the other piece is, when I don’t feel so stressed and overwhelmed that I don’t know the path. I know I’m doing something right when all the goals are clearly laid out in front me, and I can feel a sense of calm about them, because I know they’re the right ones in my gut, versus, just like doing a million different tasks a day and thinking, “Is this really progressing me to something?” And that, I think, has made a huge difference for me, really feeling that gut confidence that I have a handle on what I’m trying to do, and do the things are really only related to those goals.
Yuri: That’s great. There we go guys, Adrienne, thank you so much for taking the time, for joining us today, for opening up, for sharing your journey, and I know there’s obviously so much more that we haven’t uncovered, but guys, make sure you follow her on Instagram, getwellbe, and obviously sign up for the newsletter over at getwellbe.com, and we will link up to that in the show notes for you guys as well.
Adrienne, once again, thank you so much for being with us.
Adrienne: Thank you so much for having me Yuri.
So I hope you found this interview inspiring, and the message that I want to leave you with today is that your story matters. The journey that you’ve been on, or are currently going through, really does matter. And if you can use that, and leverage it in a positive way, to be able to create solutions for other people, that’s awesome, and that’s really why we’re all here. That’s why I don’t believe there’s any competition, because you have a unique message, you as a messenger are unique, and the goal is to be you, do you, because everyone else is taken, right?
As soon as we try to copy other people and emulate what they’re doing, now we lose our authenticity. And yes, there is a balance between modeling what’s working and being yourself, but it’s really important to share your voice, share your beliefs, and really don’t hold back. Really share some of those more vulnerable moments from your life, the things that have allowed you to get where you are now, both good and bad. Because those are the things that are gonna help people really bond to you and, as Adrienne talked about in this episode, when she started doing more of that, sharing her voice on Instagram, her Instagram following really took off. And so I think that’s a really cool microcosm of what happens at a bigger level with a business or a brand, where you simply just share who you are, and more of the authentic voice of that brand.
My take home message is that there really is no competition if you’re being you, and you’re really highlighting the uniqueness of your business. At the end of the day remember, we’re all in business to create outcomes, results for the people we serve. It’s not about giving them a thousand videos and doing a bunch of different stuff, it’s about helping them achieve an outcome.
When you compare that, when you pair that, getting the outcome for your client with your ability to share your unique voice, that’s a really great recipe for success.
So hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. Remember to subscribe to the podcast at Healthpreneur podcast on iTunes, I just about forgot what I was called, and if you’d like more support in really helping take your health business to the next level, I’d recommend you watch our 7-Figure Health Business Blueprint, it’s a free online webinar training, it’ll take you about 70 minutes to get through, and I promise you it will be 70 of the best minutes you’ve spent on your business, really giving you some big insights about what you should avoid, what you should be doing more of, and really the new way of building a successful business online, in 2018 and beyond, without having to become, quote unquote, “Internet marketer” in the process.
The websites to check that out at is healthpreneurgroup.com/training.
That’s all for today my friends, hope you have a great one, and I’ll see you in the next one.
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