Welcome to episode 91 of the Healthpreneur Podcast! Today, I’m chatting with Dr. Andra Campitelli about all things entrepreneurial naturopath (because you’ve got to be both!), and some things that are not so naturopathic – like Sour Jujubes and snuggling up next to your laptop. She says it best: “Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed.”
Dr. Andi is a leading naturopath, media expert, educator, writer, and speaker, and she is well-received by clients for her practical, evidence-based, and down-to-earth care. She is the CEO, co-founder, and formulator of Plan C, a supplement produced because, well, no one likes a hangover.
Tune in to hear Dr. Andi and I discuss how she has used public speaking to grow her business and establish her brand. She gives great insight on the need to redefine what “failure” means as an entrepreneur, and gives invaluable advice for those who are feeling uninspired or who aren’t seeing the results they want in their business. This is an excellent listen for Healthpreneurs who want to boost their client’s results and their business in the process.
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In This Episode Andra and I discuss:
In this episode, Andra and I discuss:
- The work it takes to launch a business.
- Redefining failure.
- The need to protect yourself.
- Public speaking to build your business.
- Giving your clients what they need, not what you want.
4:00 11:00 – How public speaking and connecting with others has benefited her business
11:00 –15:00 – Failure, being persistent, knowing your passion, and kindly protecting yourself
15:00 – 19:00 – What sets apart a successful practitioner and how to brand-build in the space
19:00 – 25:00 – Plan C Hangover Cure and how Andra works with her clients to get them results
25:00 – The Rapid Five
What You Missed:
On the last episode, I shared with you the three business models that will bleed your business dry.
These three things will literally suck the life out of your business, especially if you don’t have a large following yet.
Now you might see others successfully implementing these three models, but the key is to set up your predictable revenue first. If you don’t, you’ll spend time and money on launches, content, and organic marketing and…do you hear that? Crickets.
Tune in to find out what these 3 popular business models are and why they will suck the life out of your business.
Hey guys, Yuri Elkaim here. Welcome to episode 91 of the Healthpreneur Podcast. We’re getting close to 100! We might have to do something special for that.
I hope you’re having a great week. Today, we are speaking with a great naturopathic doctor out of Toronto. Her name is Dr. Andra Campitelli. She is cool, as you’re going to find out in this interview.
Let me give you a bit of her background.
She’s a leading naturopath in the North American world. She’s a media expert and educator, and she divides her time between her Toronto-based practice and working extensively in the nutraceutical industry. She’s also a public speaker and travels the world giving amazing talks to many people on a variety of health topics.
She’s appeared on pretty much all the major media outlets in Canada; ones like the Marilyn Denis Show, CBC, CP24, and CTV News. She was also a guest expert on Mission Makeover season three, which is a reality show airing on the Lifetime network.
As you’re going to find out, Andra is a lifelong entrepreneur. That’s one of the big things that separates her from a lot of other practitioners in the space who might not have the degree of “success” that Andra’s enjoyed, because she understands the idea of building your own business. You can’t rely on people landing on your front door.
She’s going to share some of the things that she’s done to grow her practice and her brand. She’ll talk about how speaking has impacted her brand, her message, and how it has built her practice as well. We’ll also talk about one of her funny weaknesses, which I’ll keep as a surprise until we get there.
It’s going to be a lot of fun. I think you’ll get a lot of great insight out of this interview. If you’re a naturopathic doctor or a clinician, I think some of Andra’s insights into how she works with her clients can be extremely valuable as well. It’s a different take on meeting people where they’re at. Anyways, I’ll save that for the interview.
Without any further ado, let’s welcome Andra to the show. Dr. Andra Campitelli, welcome to the Healthpreneur Podcast. How are you?
Andra: I am great. Thanks so much for having me.
Yuri: You are very welcome. It’s great to have you here because I’m obsessed with having amazing conversations with remarkable entrepreneurs in our space, and you’re one of them. I’m really excited to have you here.
Andra: Thank you.
Yuri: For our listeners who may not know who you are, you’re a naturopathic doctor. How and why did you get into the profession of naturopathic medicine?
Andra: That’s a great question, and how I came around to this route is a longish story. I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor. That’s something I’ve known since childhood, since I was about eight years old. So, I always knew that that’s what I wanted to do.
I wanted to be in the healthcare field and help people as much as I could. Initially, I thought I wanted to be a medical doctor. I was all set to go, I wrote my MCAT, and right before I was about to apply, I met a naturopathic doctor. When I started speaking with her, I thought, “Oh my goodness, there’s a whole other field of medicine that practices exactly how I want to practice.”
I had my own health issues and I’d gone through the medical system and six years of misdiagnosis. I met a naturopath, she fixed me up within an hour, and that changed my entire life course. From that point forward I knew, “This is what I need to do.”
Yuri: That’s awesome. It’s unfortunate that people experience that. I was the same way. I was very inspired in my second year of university by one of my professors. He was the sport medicine doctor for the Toronto Raptors and I thought, “This guy’s amazing. I want to do this.” Then, a year later, I didn’t want to anymore.
I’m happy I didn’t go down the medical route, but I have the highest regard for NDs because what you do and are capable of doing is so tremendous and it’s touched my health in many ways for years. It’s such a great profession that hopefully continues to flourish and become more mainstream.
Andra: Thanks, I agree. I think the awareness is starting to grow. I think the best care is merging, so MD/ND. You can merge them all together, and I think more and more people are becoming aware that that is the best way for optimal healthcare. I think the profession is growing and people are becoming more aware of what we can offer.
How public speaking and connecting with others has benefited her business
Yuri: Totally. Talk to us about your business model. You do more than just the clinical stuff. What are the different elements that you offer to serve your audience and clients?
Andra: I do a few different things. One of my favorite things is public speaking. I’ve always loved that. I used to enter speech competitions in elementary school. I wanted to make sure that was something I could incorporate into my career.
I do love clinical practice and treating my patients one-on-one. Obviously, I love to do that, but I also enjoy the public speaking aspect, so I travel a fair bit. I speak frequently in the U.S. and I’m heading to Europe next week as well. I love educating on functional medicine and integrated medicine. That’s a huge aspect of what I do.
I like to write a lot so I have a lot of articles and e-books that I’ve written, so I like to try and educate in that sense. I love that one-on-one interaction, but I have a lot of diverse interests, so I want to make sure I dip my hand into all of them.
I also do a lot of product formulation, so a lot of supplements. I’ve launched my own supplement company. I like to make sure I have a few different things. It’s a well-rounded aspect of what I do.
Yuri: That’s awesome. How has speaking impacted your business?
Andra: The speaking has been great for my business. It’s a great way to get my message out. I love what I do, so it’s grown awareness, my business, has built my practice, and has substantially increased my practice base. There have been a lot of business impacts from that, but it’s just something I love to do. It helps my business and fuels my personal need and passion as well, so it’s a dual function that way.
Yuri: Totally. I know a lot of our listeners in this space want to do more speaking. I think all of us health practitioners love teaching. How does somebody who’s a naturopathic doctor, or any other professional or expert in this space, start? How do they get into it and get to a point where they’re demanded to speak on different stages throughout the world?
The work it takes to launch a business
Andra: That’s a good question. It’s a lot of work. I mean, as everyone knows, being an entrepreneur is a lot of work. I remember when I first launched my business I used to sleep with my laptop, and I know that is not even remotely naturopathic. The last thing I did before bed was write articles, update whatever I needed to, and connect with people.
I would shut my laptop, go to sleep, wake up in the morning, and the first thing I would do was open my laptop while I was still in bed and keep working. The way I started was just connecting with people, talking with people, asking for help. I had a lot of friends in the health industry and I said, “Okay, this is what I want to do. Do you know anyone who has experience in this space?”
When you start asking questions, you learn how much people want to help you. People do want to help other people grow their business. They would say, “You know, I know this guy who’s worked in the supplement industry before. What you’re doing sounds interesting. I’ll hook you up and have a coffee.”
I would have coffee with people who had done it, and that was it. I just started booking meetings, meeting people, and asking questions. People were so open and willing to share and give guidance on what I could do and how to grow. That was how I started. Every day I was meeting someone new. I also joined health networking groups.
It’s definitely a lot of work, but that was essentially how I started. I had a lot of help and some great, lovely, kind people offered me a lot of advice which I will always appreciate. That was my journey in the very beginning.
Failure, being persistent, knowing your passion, and kindly protecting yourself
Yuri: That’s awesome. What was one piece of advice that made an impact in how you went about doing what you do?
Andra: The one piece of advice – and it sounds so cliché – but it was the thought around failure, which is that it’s never a failure. You just have to keep going and keep pushing. Everyone said, “Keep going, if you believe in what you’re doing. There are so many people who are going to tell you you’re crazy and what you’re doing isn’t going to work. Why are you working so hard?”
Again, as entrepreneurs, we work a lot. You miss family events. You miss going out with your friends. People don’t understand why you’re doing it. It was one of those things where I was advised to, “Just ignore the noise around you. If this is your passion and what you want to do, you just keep going.” That’s what I did. I just kept going.
For sure you get doors shut in your face. Just keep going. Keep pursuing and if this is what you want, if you get shot down five times, keep going until you succeed in making it happen.
Yuri: That’s awesome.
Andra: I had a lot of people supporting me and encouraging me to keep doing that. That was probably one of the biggest lessons I had from the very beginning, which was helpful for me.
Yuri: That’s awesome. What do you say to someone who might not have the resilience that you have? What if they say, “Everyone’s saying no to me,” or, “This is not going to work.”
What words of encouragement would you give them?
Andra: I’ll ask, “What is your passion? What fulfills you and what makes you happy?” If it’s your passion and it fulfills you, then it won’t feel like work because you’re so driven by what you’re doing. Even if you’re getting shut down or you’re not quite succeeding the way you want to, you still have that drive because it’s something that comes from inside of you.
Something you’re passionate about versus trying to make a success out of something you don’t care all that much about – there’s a big difference. Just make sure you’re passionate about it and the drive will stay.
Yuri: That’s good advice. Right now, as you’ve gone on your journey building your practice and your speaking side of things, what’s one lesson you’ve had to learn the hard way?
Andra: Oh, I’ve had a lot of hard lessons. There is an aspect of having to protect yourself a little bit. When it comes to success, I believe you can succeed without stepping on other people, putting people down, or sabotaging other people. I do firmly believe you can be successful and kind and work with other people.
It’s not about beating somebody else. It’s about working with everyone in your field and helping to build them, not tearing them down. I think one of my bigger lessons is that you have to understand that some people will try and do that.
I’ve had some people who didn’t always have my best interests at heart. I still approach everything openly and everyone gets the benefit of the doubt. But I did learn that sometimes you do have to sign that dotted line before you move forward. Maybe it won’t work in your favor if you don’t do that, so things can end badly for you. People you trusted maybe weren’t as trustworthy as you once thought.
I learned to be more aware and protect myself, but kindly. I don’t need to be mean, but I still make sure as I move forward that I’m making the right choices so it doesn’t work against me later.
Yuri: That makes sense. If you were to start all over again, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently in your business or in the building of it?
Andra: You know what, I have to say no. I love the process that I went through. Everyone’s got bad experiences. My first year out of school I started working for a clinic and it was just a disaster that did not work out well. But that fueled my business.
I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. Even when I was in school I was starting businesses on the side. I start working for this clinic, and I was there for about seven months. One day, I just thought, “Okay, this is done.” I launched my business in a month.
As much as I want to say that I could have avoided that one bad experience, to be honest, it fueled the start of my current business. Within one month I said, “Let’s do this. It’s time. I want to be happy, I want to be fulfilled. Let’s go.”
Yuri: That’s awesome.
Andra: That’s what prompted me to get started.
What sets apart a successful practitioner and how to brand-build in the space
Yuri: I went to UFT, graduated with 100 people in my class, and I was the only person to go the entrepreneurial route. Everyone else went into chiropractics, naturopathic medicine, or teaching. I’m sure it was very similar with your graduating class.
When you look at yourself or other “successful” naturopathic doctors who’ve broken the mold, what do you think are the differentiating factors between those who have done well in their practice or are getting their message out to more people, versus those that are stuck in the clinic working for someone else?
Andra: Our profession is really a business. You must know how to grow a business. The people I think have done quite well have created a brand for themselves, and they’ve turned it into more of an entrepreneurial pursuit than just a working in a clinic. It’s creating a brand, understanding the message that you’re trying to put out to people, and you’ve got to work for it.
People don’t realize how much work they have to put into it.
Yuri: That makes sense. What I love about naturopathic doctors as well as chiros is that it’s not an inbound type of practice. Doctors get patients referred to them all the time, but as a naturopath, you’re having to go out, fend for yourself, and acquire your clients for the most part.
Public speaking to build your business
Yuri: That entrepreneurial spirit is definitely important. In terms of growing your presence and getting your message out, what are some of the things that have worked well from a marketing perspective for your business and brand?
Andra: For my brand the biggest thing is the public speaking. I still do a lot of articles and things like that, but I think it’s the public speaking. Just getting yourself and your message out there, even if it’s not public speaking but just connecting with people and networking. It’s not necessarily selling all the time, but just making people aware of what you do, who you are, that you’re there, and what you offer.
That’s all I did the first years of my business. Networking groups, lunches, and chatting with people grew my business because that’s how you make a presence and make yourself known in the space.
Plan C Hangover Cure and how Andra works with her clients to get them results
Yuri: Great advice. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you have a supplement for a nutraceutical that helps with hangovers?
Andra: That’s correct. Yes I do.
Yuri: Tell us how that came about.
Andra: Plan C is the supplement company. It’s funny, I’ve always known, even from when I was in school, that I wanted to launch that.
Yuri: Was that based on heavy drinking experiences?
Andra: You know what the funny thing is? No!
I was in school for nine years. I was in the library way too much. I remember, after graduating, that’s when I actually thought, “Oh hey, I can go out on a Tuesday. Who knew?” That’s when I started to have a life again.
My parents were very social, and with my background and culture, the wine with food was a natural part of growing up. As you get older, even after one or two glasses of wine, you wake up the next day and say, “Oh my goodness.”
You can’t handle even a glass or two. I had patients who would come in and say, “My alcohol tolerance has gone down.” Or people who are going for a bachelorette or a bachelor party and will be drinking excessively, but still want to be functional the next day.
I was giving them random supplements to take to help with that. Some people will say to me, “Well, why don’t you tell them not to drink?” I could tell them that, but the whole point is to help people be healthy in their own life and in a way that works for them.
If they’re drinking to a point where it’s detrimental to their health, then I’ll tell them not to drink. But you know what? If they want to go out drinking for one night, that’s your choice. Go for it. I’m going to help you be functional the next day.
That’s how Plan C came about. Finally, since I was giving all this stuff to my patients and the number of patients who asked me for it was astronomical, I decided to make my own. That’s what I did.
Giving your clients what they need, not what you want
Yuri: That’s awesome. It’s so smart. So often, and I’ve been guilty of this in the past too, in the health profession we like to say, “This is what people need,” or, “This is what they should be doing.” But the reality is that people just want to drink.
Why not just meet them where they are and help them out a little bit? Obviously, we want to encourage them not to go excessive, but it’s just such a natural, easy, frictionless type of offer: “Hey guys, if you’re going to have a bender this weekend, use this.” They’ll be thankful for your understanding.
That just makes sense to me.
Andra: I agree with that and that’s the thing. Life is meant to be enjoyed, so if they’re going to enjoy it in that way, I’m not judging. If that’s what you want to do for your weekend, amazing. Let’s just get you back on track after that. I mean, you’ve got to live your life in a way that works for you.
Yuri: Yeah. From a patient perspective, when people come to see you, are they ready to give things up, or is there still a lot of resistance?
Andra: Some people are, and some people aren’t. I try to make it a funny and relaxed visit with my patients. I want to laugh with them and just make people comfortable. I’ll crack jokes like, “Alright, I’m going to take your dairy, but I’m going to leave your wine. Fair? Work with me.”
Or if they’re telling me that they love bread I’ll say, “You’re going to hate me at the end of this, because you know I’m going to take that out, right?” They’re like, “I know.”
I just try and make it fun. Some people are resistant, but most people that come in are there because they want to make a change. They want that help. So we just end up laughing about it. “Yeah, you’re going to be that person. You’re going to be that one making modifications on everything you eat in a restaurant. Just accept it, and you’re good.”
Then the resistance goes down a little bit. Some people will follow it, some people won’t, but at the end of the day if there’s at least a reduction or a small change, then that’s great.
Yuri: I’m sure they appreciate that as opposed thinking, “Oh my God, my naturopath is a Nazi and I can’t do anything.”
It’s more approachable, which I think a lot of people need.
Andra: I’ve had a lot of patients say that. They’re afraid to tell me that they drink. Or I’ll ask them about their diet and they say, “Oh, I eat terribly,” and they’re afraid to tell me.
I’ll say, “It’s fine. What is the one thing that you are not willing to give up?” Some people will say alcohol or whatever. I’ll say, “Okay, so if that’s your thing and you want to have wine every day, then you’re just going to have to accept that we have to make some other changes. We’ll make you healthy but not take away everything you love.” Because what’s the point in doing that?
You just work with them. And that seems to work with my patients.
Yuri: A cool pattern interrupt – I don’t know if anyone’s ever done this, but I certainly would if I had my own practice, just as a joke – would be to have a glass of wine and some breadsticks in your office as you’re doing a consult with people. They’ll say, “Is this for real? What’s going on here?”
Andra: Oh my goodness, I’m totally trying that out.
Yuri: You should, that would be awesome. Just have a closed-circuit camera capturing it. That would be funny.
Andra: That’s great.
The Rapid Five
Yuri: Alright, so this has been a lot of fun. Are you ready for the rapid five?
Andra: Yes, let’s do it.
Yuri: Alright. You’ve got no idea what the questions are. Our listeners do by this point. Whatever comes top of mind is probably the right answer. Here we go, number one. What is your biggest weakness?
Andra: Two things come to mind.
Yuri: Yeah, go for it.
Andra: The first is Sour Jujubes from Bulk Barn.
Yuri: Sour Jujubes. Nice.
Andra: That’s my biggest weakness. The second one is that I think I can take on anything, but then I crash. I rarely say no. I say, “Yeah, sure, I can do that. Of course, I can do that.” Then, by the end I’m like, “Why did I think I could do all these 900 things? It’s time to say no.”
Yuri: That’s awesome. Going back to the Sour Jujubes, are we talking Maynard’s?
Andra: No, so you can only get them at Bulk Barn. You can’t buy it as a package anywhere. It’s just at Bulk Barn. Every now and then, on a Friday, I stop by Bulk Barn and get a little bag of Sour Jujubes and a bottle of wine.
Andra: That’s my little treat for myself.
Yuri: Very nice. What’s your biggest strength?
Andra: That I have a strong, persistent personality. Not overbearing in any way, but if I what I want to accomplish something, I can accomplish it. In my head, I will accomplish it.
I’ll just keep going until I do it.
Yuri: One of the biggest commonalities with successful entrepreneurs we’ve spoken to is that persistence, that resilience, that never-giving-up attitude, because it’s so needed. It’s easy to say, “That’s not working, I’m going to fold up shop,” but that’s great.
Number three, what’s one skill you’ve become dangerously good at to grow your business?
Andra: That’s a good question. I would say, again, the public speaking aspect. Actually, I’m going to say two things: The public speaking, one, and the second thing is recognizing what other people need from me.
I can meet people where they’re at and read their energy very well. I know how to talk to someone so that we’re on the same page. I’ve become very good at that.
Yuri: That’s great.
Andra: I know how to navigate conversations, what to hold back, and when I should say something. That’s a skill that I think has worked very well for me up to this point.
Yuri: That’s wicked. That emotional intelligence and that degree of empathy is huge. That’s great. What do you do first thing in the morning?
Andra: Make myself a cup of coffee.
Yuri: Cool. Finally, complete this sentence. I know I’m being successful when…
Andra: When I feel fulfilled and satisfied.
Yuri: Excellent. Well, there we go guys. Dr. Andra Campitelli, thank you so much for being with us on the Healthpreneur Podcast. Where’s the best place people can go to follow your work or even consult or inquire about your services?
Andra: You can find me online at DrAndiND.com, and you can find me at that same handle on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Thanks so much for having me. This was great.
Yuri: You are very welcome. Once again Andra, thank you so much for taking the time. This has been a lot of fun. I appreciate all the work you do to spread the message of health to serve the people that you work with and speak to, so thank you so much for doing what you do.
Andra: Oh, thanks. I appreciate that.
Yuri: You’re welcome.
I hope you’ve enjoyed that interview. One of the things I want to leave you with today is the idea of meeting people where they are at. If you’re serving patients or customers online or in any way, shape, or form – which I think we’re all doing – be realistic about the fact that we can’t force people to change. They can only come to us willing to change.
Andra’s Plan C recovery supplement is such a great idea because people are going to drink. So why don’t we just offer them something that’ll make it a little bit easier the next day? I’m probably the guiltiest of this out of anyone I know, but we tend to be optimistic and idealists.
We think this is the way the world should be. This is what people should be doing. This is what they should be eating. This is what they shouldn’t be doing. We try to force stuff onto them.
Oftentimes, when we’re met with resistance in that people don’t buy what we’re selling or offering, it’s because of that. We are trying to push stuff onto people that they have no interest in.
We want to find, as marketers here, that balance with giving people exactly what they want. Generally, that’s going to do a lot better than trying to force stuff on them that we think they need. Maybe you’re already doing this in a way. Maybe you’re someone like me who, when I was starting out, was creating things that I thought people wanted, but it was just my projection of what I thought they needed.
If you’re that type of person as well, I challenge you to think, “Am I offering stuff that people actually are dying to buy? The easiest way to tell is to just look at your sales. If people are banging down your door and they can’t get enough of whatever it is you’re selling, then what it is you’re selling is probably something they want.
Now, if you’re having a tough time generating sales, maybe what you’re offering is something people don’t want. I know that’s a bitter pill to swallow, but that’s the reality guys. I want to help you avoid a lot of the frustration that you don’t need to go through.
I’m not saying you must invent magic pills and do crazy stuff like that, but we want to find the happy medium between making it effortless, sexy, and attractive for people in terms of that thing that we’re offering them, and, at the same time, making it extremely beneficial for their health.
I’ll give you an example. In today’s day and age, in 2018, the big opportunity is the final 10 yards. What I mean by that is this: Several years ago, and even to this day, people were buying cookbooks left, right and center. I’m always amazed that people still buy cookbooks. You’ve got 10 cookbooks or 100 cookbooks and you still want to buy another one. That’s just the way it works, right?
In a cookbook, we give people the recipe, we tell them exactly how to make it, and that’s cool. We give them the meal plan; we give them all that stuff. But the big opportunity, the real sexy, no-brainer offer are the meal delivery services that deliver the finished product to your front door. That is where the opportunity lies.
Now I’m not saying you must develop that kind of company, but think about the friction it removes. The biggest problem we know is that people don’t want to take the time to make the food or go grocery shopping. A lot of people are willing to spend a little bit more money for the convenience of having it delivered right to their front door. That’s an example of what people want. What people need is to learn how to cook, but not everyone wants to do that.
I just want to leave you with that because that’s a big mindset shift. If you let it sink in, it can make a big difference in your business and your success.
That’s all for today’s episode. All the information you need from this episode is found on HealthpreneurGroup.com/podcast.
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