Running a successful wellness clinic isn’t always a piece of cake. Sometimes you need to give it time, but sometimes, you just need to work smart! And there’s no smarter way to work than to take the advice of successful naturopath and clinic owner, Carla Wrenn.
Keep reading to learn more about how she started a successful business, and the advice she has for new practitioners.
Running A Successful Wellness Clinic With Carla Wrenn
How did you start on the journey to becoming a practitioner?
I always wanted to help people. To be honest, I was initially interested in being a prosthetic therapist, occcupational therapist or even a chiropractor. But while I was in high school, my dad visited a naturopath, and he was very impressed with his experience. So I went to the Endeavour College Open Day and that was it – I was in love!
And I still am in love 21 years later. I absolutely LOVE my ‘job’. In fact, I would not even call it that – it’s my passion.
When you graduated, were you running a successful wellness clinic overnight? Or were there some speed bumps along the way?
I was 21 when I graduated, so I had a lot to learnl! So I wouldn’t exactly call the first few years an ‘overnight success’. But I did have fun, I helped people and learned many lessons, both good and bad.
Initially, I worked in weight loss in another naturopath’s clinic. Then I worked in a health food store, in my home based clinic and then in a leased space in a holistic day spa.
Then I had my children! While they were still young, I started working in Acute Care Naturopathy at Peninsula Herbal Dispensary. The owner and founder, Karen Jackson, was very kind. She really aimed to advance both our industry and us individually as practitioners.
Through her generosity and clinic set-up, I was inspired to work hard to build my own practice, rather than waiting to be ‘spoon-fed’ through the Dispensary. I focused on getting my name out there, doing all sorts of things to drum up patients. I could see such potential here for my career and my personal life.
Eventually, I went on to buy The Dispensary! It was a windy path, but it was a great experience with not too many speed bumps!
Hard work, determination and aspirations to do more got me to where I am now – running a successful wellness clinic and business.
As a successful practitioner with a family, what are your tips for keeping balanced and productive?
Honestly, I think ‘balance’ is a myth! I just do my best each day.
I have many people who support me. Parenting is shared with my husband Andy. He left his full-time job to care for the kids, assist us at The Dispensary and work for himself. Mum and Dad are a huge support. I even had an Au Pair to help before the kids were at school.
Instead of looking for ‘balance’, I actively create time for three things: time to work, time with family and downtime.
I love to travel as well – downtime while travelling helps me dream up big ideas. Fun fact – Vitae Mosaic was born when I was on a pool lounger drinking Mojitos in Bali!
(Sam says: psst – if travel is on your mind, make sure you check out my health practitioner retreat!)
What is one thing you would tell a final year student or brand new grad?
You totally have this! When a new grad visits The Dispensary, we remind them they know so much.
When you’re with a client in a consultation, do these three things:
- Really listen to them. Let them tell you their story.
- Try to think of one simple but perfect thing that will help them.It might be one herb, one nutrient, one bit of lifestyle advice or one herbal tea. Once you have one good thing in mind, confidently recommend it! You can always call them later with a solid plan or book a follow up to go over the whole case.
- Give them a feeling of hope.Standard healthcare in Australia can sometimes leave patients feeling hopeless. We are in the perfect position to reinspire them to take the health journey with us and rediscover hope.
Where do you see the profession headed in the future?
I believe the sky is the limit!
Just set a goal and see where it takes you. If we all did this – played big, had faith, collaborated and put our best foot forward – we would get out of our own way.
Bugger what others say!
We have the skills and capacity to change the chronic disease crisis in Australia. It’s part of my mission. So I ignore the negativity and the haters. I just do my best for my patients, my team and the practitioners I work with.
Choose your future, dream big and then start changing lives one patient at a time. Share your successes and help another practitioner out whenever you can. That way, whatever happens, our profession’s future will be bright.
Tell us a little about Vitae Mosaic, your signature training for practitioners.
This 2-day interactive seminar trains you in the practical application of Functional Medicine in a Naturopathic or Nutritional clinic setting. It provides new skills you need to be a cutting-edge and successful leading practitioner. You can apply the information straight away on a daily basis to improve your confidence in addressing the health and wellbeing needs of all of your patients.
(Sam says: Vitae Mosaic is a must if you want to be running a successful wellness clinic – a successful clinic depends on you achieving client results!)
What inspired you to create Vitae Mosaic?
Throughout my years in practice, I identified a clear problem with the majority of my patients. Despite accessing standard medical care, and sometimes complementary medical care, they were getting sicker. They had more and more complex and chronic diseases. What was going on?
While researching options to help them get better, I discovered Functional Medicine. I loved how they worked with more complex and chronic cases – with less overwhelm and more consistent outcomes.
As naturopaths and nutritionists, we understand vitality. We have access to awesome herbs, nutritional supplements and dietary/ lifestyle tools. But the systems of Functional Medicine taught me a whole new approach. I learned how to break a case apart, look at all the pieces of someone’s life and make a plan that gave them fantastic results short and long-term.
Vitae Mosaic is the result of blending all I love about naturopathy and Functional Medicine.
What are 3 reasons why we want to attend Vitae Mosaic?
My top 3 reasons would be:
- Deepen your understanding for treating complex cases
- Create stronger more focussed therapeutic strategies and prescriptions
- See your patients in a whole new way
If running a successful wellness clinic is one of your business goals, don’t miss out!
Dates for Newcastle and Melbourne have been announced, and more are coming soon. Read all about Vitae Mosaic here.
Psst – client care is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to running a successful wellness clinic. To learn more about marketing and content creation strategies for your business, make sure you sign up to my weekly newsletter!