As part of Incfile’s ongoing Spotlight Of The Month series, we are sharing the success stories of Incfile customers who are doing amazing things with their businesses. This month we’re featuring Letisha Bates, a nutrition and weight loss coach.
Letisha started her own health coaching company, Live Free Health Coaching, to help other people improve their health and wellness. As a Registered Health Coach (RHC), she focuses on one particular community: women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Letisha was diagnosed with PCOS at age 23. PCOS is a complicated health condition that often causes women to have hormone imbalance, irregular blood sugar and insulin levels, higher risk of inflammation and cardiovascular problems and other health issues. Women with PCOS are often at higher risk for obesity, diabetes and other ailments. For all of these reasons, it can be particularly difficult for women with PCOS to lose weight.
But Letisha was unwilling to settle for a life of feeling exhausted and slowed down by metabolism problems or hormone imbalances. She figured out a plan to change her lifestyle, achieve a healthy weight and create an active daily routine in order to “live free” from the problems of PCOS. Today, Letisha has a successful health coaching business with more than 19,000 followers on Instagram. She helps other women all over the U.S. to overcome the challenges of PCOS and unleash their power to be who they want to be.
Entrepreneurs can learn several valuable lessons from Letisha's journey.
Be Willing to Make Big Changes
For most of her life, Letisha struggled with obesity and a negative self-image. At age 12, she started taking diet pills, and at age 14, she began suffering from bulimia, an eating disorder that she battled for more than 10 years. After being diagnosed with PCOS at age 23, Letisha felt discouraged because of the “metabolic resistance” that accompanies it; PCOS can make your body resistant to losing weight.
“PCOS made losing weight feel impossible, and I was convinced that being overweight was my fate,” Letisha said. “I tried one diet after another over the years, and finally, I decided that I needed to transform my overall life. I needed a true lifestyle change.”
Letisha radically revamped her diet, switching to whole foods and eliminating processed and fast food. She started with simple workouts, like walking in the park. Over time, the pounds started to come off — leaving her feeling healthier and stronger and building positive momentum to keep reaching for bigger goals.
In the same way that Letisha set a big goal for herself and was willing to take a chance on changing her entire life, entrepreneurship is also a total lifestyle change. Many entrepreneurs are willing to live in an extreme way; they’re eager to work long hours, risk their life savings on a business idea, go a year without taking a day off or make massive changes in their daily routine to support their goal of starting a business.
Of course, you shouldn’t risk your health for your business. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise and eating well along the way. But many entrepreneurs can likely relate to Letisha’s story of deciding to make a major change in her life and then pursuing all those smaller changes along the way.
Develop Your Own Unique Expertise
As a Registered Health Coach (RHC), Letisha is certified in Holistic Nutrition and Weight Loss for Women. While improving her health and wellness over the years, she did a lot of research into nutrition that can help others save time and avoid gimmicks.
“Through my own healing process, I learned so much about nutrition and its effect on my body, and it made me realize [that] women aren’t being told any of this!” Letisha said. “So I try to be a leader and a light for my own clients. I want other women to learn from my experience and get better results with nutrition and weight loss.”
Women with PCOS can especially benefit from a targeted, customized nutrition program that accounts for their bodies’ unique challenges with metabolism and hormone levels. Letisha has created several classes and programs that she offers to her clients, and she recommends various dietary strategies.
Ultimately, Letisha believes that “losing weight” is not the primary goal or purpose that she wants her clients to focus on; instead, she wants them to feel better about their worth and find a higher level of happiness. It’s about health, not about weight.
If you are a solopreneur that is offering professional services or consulting, you can learn from Letisha’s example. She put together a unique set of coaching programs and classes geared toward her particular expertise and experience, informed by her own life lessons. How can you do the same for your customers?
Identify Your Community to Serve
Letisha is not just a business owner and health coach; she also has a strong sense of mission in serving as an advocate for the PCOS community. Many women with PCOS have been underserved, under-diagnosed or overlooked by the healthcare system; sometimes women get misdiagnosed or misunderstood by doctors, or their concerns fall through the system's cracks.
Letisha is constantly attending events, recommending products and meeting with lawmakers to encourage additional support and funding for PCOS research and care. “My successes keep me inspired to empower women with PCOS to take back their power and change their lives,” Letisha said.
Some of the most successful businesses have a clear mission and sense of purpose. Of course, your company needs to make money, but many of today’s business owners want to have an idealistic mission for improving society. What community would you like to serve? How can you use your business to empower other people and inspire them to change their lives for the better?
Ben Gran is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa. Ben has written for Fortune 500 companies, the Governor of Iowa (who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and many corporate clients. He writes about entrepreneurship, technology, food and other areas of great personal interest.