Tammy Guest is a business mentor, naturopath, entrepreneur, speaker, author, mother and helicopter pilot, who will share her insights at the Accelerate your Practice Seminar in November. Ahead of her session ‘Using technology to improve your practice’ Tammy did a Q&A, here’s what she had to say.
How did you get into your area of expertise and why do you stay?
I struggled in my first 18 months as a practitioner, not because I didn’t know enough, I had multiple university degrees and qualifications in medical science and natural health, but because I didn’t know the first thing about business or the mindset it takes to run a practice.
So I learned about all things business mindset and thrived off it, and when I saw other practitioners struggling, I started to mentor on the side. This led me to create Natupreneur Hub so that I could continue these conversations with our whole profession.
I believe we need a paradigm shift in the way we practice as practitioners, embracing the bridge between the old and the new, not being afraid to both serve clients and make a living from what we do, and foster the values of collaboration and celebration to move our profession forward.
What has been the main focus or outcomes of your research/work over the past year?
My main focus has been to bring together a tribe of likeminded practitioners who are willing to share, collaborate and lift one another up in business and life. I have also created foundational courses for innovative business practices for Nats, Nuts, Herbies and Praccies utilising technology and information products as a means to support the consultative parts of practice.
How has your field changed in the past 5 years? What new areas are emerging?
Five years ago, the predominant model for a successful business was location dependent 1:1 practice, known only by word of mouth or traditional media. Now we can run a telehealth clinic from our laptop sharing the most recent research and knowledge via e-courses or webinars to exponential amounts of people, whilst having paper free patient files and making a living in a way that serves both clients and our own lifestyles. We also have access to other practitioners online sharing wisdom and experience in both clinical and business aspects of practice.
What do you predict will happen in the next 5 to 10 years in your particular field?
I truly think that we have the opportunity to reach more rural and remote communities via telehealth technology, allowing for a broader range of people to experience the benefits of natural health.
I can see more unity in our professions as we connect more and find similarities to work towards helping the health of the world and its people naturally. I see the running of business becoming cheaper by the incorporation of technology, so the ability to make an impact for lower socioeconomic communities becomes much easier.
I see practitioners making more of a living and being able to contribute time or money to practitioner based natural health give back programs. I see a critical mass of qualified practitioners contributing to the bank of information for the general public via e-courses, online trainings, blogs, videos and other means, creating a desire in the market to specifically hear from Natural Health Leaders.
What is the number one way we, as natural medicine practitioners, can make a difference for our clients?
Listen to them. In clinics the 1:1 connection is irreplaceable and profoundly therapeutic. Online, when getting emails or social media interaction, listen! What are they asking for? What do they want to learn from you? How can you help them there? How would they like to get that information or wisdom?
What’s the questions you get asked the most often in your field, and how do you answer it?
Does it get easier? Yes, often the reason it feels hard is because we care so much for the people we are here to help. With more experience comes more confidence and more confidence comes more people helped by you. Lastly on that, if it was easy everyone would be doing it, but it takes a unique human to be able to bridge the gap of empathy, healing, traditional/science, clinical care and successful business owner, but with persistence and belief in yourself it pays off.
Fun Fact for the Readers: Tell us who inspires you / or who your professional idol is and why?
In the natupreneur community we have the term #natstruck for the praccies who inspire us, and Jules Galloway is one of so many epic practitioners that come to mind.
Her huge heart and amazing mind contributes to the public via her podcast. Her business model allows the financial benefits to flow over into her volunteer work internationally and she generously shares her insights to move our profession forward.