#SelfStarterStories: From working for the NHS to becoming a kinesiologist
This week's #SelfStarterStory features Carly Ferguson, founder of Heal Thy Health Kinesiology.
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Carly to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
What was your last job?: I worked as a call handler for NHS24, which I really enjoyed! It gave me the opportunity to help people by listening and connecting them to the appropriate assistance for their needs, which is similar in a way to what I do now.
Looking back, what lead you to be where you are today?: When I worked at the NHS, I became ill with glandular fever which developed into chronic fatigue. This left me bed-bound and ultimately I lost my job. Doctors told me I would never recover, that there was no cure and that the quicker I accepted that, the less depressed I would be.
I refused to believe that my life could be over so young and through something so simple as catching an infection! I wallowed in self-pity for a while and my mum told me one day that we could find a solution. I went to see a Kinesiologist, I didn't know what to expect as I had never heard of this healing modality. She used muscle testing to ask what my body needed to heal and food sensitivities are what showed up.
I had all my foods tested and was given a new diet to follow that eliminated things as milk, cheese, peppers etc because these were feeding my disease.
I was told to follow this for 7 months and that I would no longer be bed bound. It worked! After a couple of weeks I had more energy and less pain, I lost weight and was getting healthier by the day. After 7 months I called the Kinesiologist and asked how I could help others with no hope and chronic illness to heal.
It turned out she was taking on new students and I put in a lot of hard work and finally passed my exams in November 2016. If I hadn't already lost everything I don't know that I wouldn't have had the confidence to invest in private training and try to start a business, but I had nothing to lose.
So if I hadn't gotten ill, I would never have found my passion, which is helping people heal.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: I found it difficult to get the confidence to make a facebook page and start inviting people to it. I had a lot of worries that people would expect me to fail or wonder why I thought I was good enough to go at it alone. On top of building my confidence so had to learn how to market myself, write interesting content and motivate myself to stick to a schedule
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?:The day that the Kinesiologist said to me that there was hope for my situation, a chance to heal, I made her a promise to do everything in my power to get out of my own way and honour my body and needs.
I needed to spread this message and give hope to the hopeless. So I had to overcome my own self-doubts because my purpose was bigger than me, and so I chose myself because my doctors had told me there was no hope.
I did not want to give in to a life of long-term medication and daytime tv. That burning passion inside of me told me to look for more out of life and I found it. So I chose to keep following that path and will continue to go where it leads me.
I now help clients all over the world to heal their conditions and take care of their bodies. And I will choose myself every day because I make a difference and that matters.
What did you learn from your worst boss?: I learned that you can be the nicest person in the world but that if you get ill and you are no longer of use then there is no place for you in the workforce, no matter how passionate you are. Or so he would have me think! I am grateful for having to prove myself to be as ill as I "claimed" to be, because I learned how judged you are for having an "invisible illness " because of the experience with that boss, I grew more determined to give the voice to the voiceless.
What is your favourite business book and why?: I love the book."The universe has your back" by Gabby Bernstein. She teaches about mindfulness and making your own self-care a priority when being an entrepreneur. It always reminds me to be greatful even during the gruelling nights where I feel my plate is so full.
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: At the moment yes I do it all myself. But I will be outsourcing soon to have my website made. It's hard learning to do all the computer marketing and email lists and sales pages, but I really love that I can rely on my self to get it all done
What is your productivity secret?: Create a loose schedule to work from and include on it: Meditation And Self Care.
My motto "you can't pour from an empty cup, so fill yourself up with enough self-love and you will always come from a place of gratitude and service, and this will show in all the content you write, the videos you make and the networking you do.
What is your favourite marketing tool ?: I really love Facebook Live Video, I feel much more comfortable talking over video than writing adverts. Video allows me to connect with clients all over the world and have conversations with them and answer questions and it is always really fun!
How do you market your business?: I use my Facebook page to post adverts and competitions to reach new audiences. I go LIVE a lot to make sure I stay visible. I use other Facebook groups to network with other entrepreneurs and potential clients that would benefit from my healing style.
I also put out fliers at yoga class sometimes and word of mouth has been very effective for me.
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: The qualification I was studying for required me to do a certain amount of voluntary hours of practice to gain a wealth of experience.
I advertised on Facebook commerce groups and was offering free healings and many people volunteered to give me experience. Many of them became regular clients and were happy to pay donations as they felt such benefit and relief from the sessions.
When I passed my exams they were all really happy to pay me full price. It was amazing as this really helped me to see my own worth and the difference I was making to my clients' health.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?:Jump! Just Jump! There is never a right time to do it. You will always find an excuse. There are no failures, only lessons, so if you are willing to learn from the lessons then your growth will be abundant always.
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Tony Robbins. He is an amazing motivational speaker and I would love to ask him so many questions!! Plus I would love to see how much he can eat because he is so tall!!
To stay up to date with Carly's entrepreneurial journey, please find her on Facebook below:
Carly Ferguson has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2018. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.