From Sales Manager to Happy Homeopath
" I learnt that niching is really important. If you specialise in something, you become more memorable and it's easier for people to refer you."
-Claire Zarb, Owner of Happy Homeopathy
What did you do before you decided to train as a homeopath?
When I went to University I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do so I ended up doing a degree in Theatre Studies as I'd enjoyed it at A-Level. After University I pretty much wanted nothing to do with the theatre and fell into a sales career instead! My last job before I trained as a homeopath was as a Sales Manager for a Health & Safety company. Not the sexiest of industries, but what I really enjoyed about the job was regularly listening and speaking to such a large variety of people. I'm definitely a 'people person' so I always knew whatever path I took it would involve regular communication with people.
What inspired you to become a homeopath?
When I worked as Sales Manager what I found interesting was how many of my team would speak to me in confidence about their personal issues and how it was affecting their work. Clearly people felt very comfortable telling me their emotional problems. I really feel there is a lack of compassion in many corporate industries that don't allow for the fact that their employees are people, with hearts, emotions and problems. I knew that I needed a role that actually allowed me to help people and to strive to make them feel happier, as well as healthier.
I'd always had a huge interest in alternative and complementary therapies and had a reputation for the 'go to' person for weird and wonderful potions and advice in relation to health. I absorbed information about natural health like a sponge. It was only after a close friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer aged 25 that I realised, life is too short and I need to make some changes in my life and do what I really want to do.
How did you make the transition?
I began exploring many forms of alternative and complementary medicine, trying acupuncture, kinesiology and homeopathy to name a few. Although all the therapies were powerful in their own way, homeopathy by far had the biggest impact on me. Due to the stresses of my job, my teenage acne had returned, I had developed symptoms of IBS and I was taking the pill to manage my erratic periods and skin. I felt exhausted, depressed and unwell. Homeopathy completely transformed my health in just a few months. Now I no longer suffer with acne, I am completely off the pill and my periods are regular and pain-free. Even my symptoms of my IBS have been relieved. I knew then that I wanted to study homeopathy and within a few weeks of deciding, I handed my notice in at work and enrolled onto a full time homeopathy course. I was scared about making such a big leap, but I was also really excited!
How do you feel about your career now and what impact does this have on the rest of your life?
It doesn't just feel like a career, homeopathy is my life. I absolutely love it and can't believe how much of a positive impact it has had on me. It's opened up so many new doors and I've met so many interesting people. I have so much more freedom to choose the hours I work and what I do with my time. But most of all, what I love is watching people blossom on the remedies. Not a lot of people realise that homeopathy helps hugely with emotional problems as well as physical ones. My mission is to help women gain control of their hormonal health with homeopathy and in turn feel happier and healthier as a result.
What is the biggest challenge in running your homeopathy business?
For me, the biggest challenge was realising that I wasn't just a homeopath prescribing homeopathic remedies; I was also a marketer, a sales person, an administrator, a book-keeper, a writer, a web designer, a net-worker and a whole host of other roles. I had so many new skills to learn. When you run a business, you are the business so it's important to outsource some work otherwise you could completely burn yourself out!
What would your advice be for other women looking to start their own health and well being business?
Go for it and don't give up! Building a business takes time and energy and sometimes years to make a profit, but keep reigniting the passion that made you start it in the first place and keep going. I also learnt that niching is really important. If you specialise in something, you become more memorable and it's easier for people to refer you. Before I just said I was a homeopath, now I say I'm a homeopath that helps women with hormonal problems. People can relate so much better to this and I'm seen as an expert in this area. It's impossible to treat everyone and everything, be clear about what kind of clients you want and they will come.
"If you don't take care of your body, where are you going to live?"
To find out more about Claire's homeopathy business, Happy Homeopathy, just click here
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