Meet WE Magazine for Women Business interview wth Andrea Atcheson, Owner of heart Health Academy; Physician Assistant; Chef and Wellness Coach
Tell us about your business
Heart Health Academy was born after I was in the grind of out patient medicine for almost 20 years. I was seeing about 24 patients a day in various Cardiology offices and only having 15 minutes for each visit. I was getting burned out so I stepped outside the box and realized that I was getting really good at pushing pills onto my patients, whether it be a new pill to treat a new condition, or increasing or decreasing their medication doses. I was essentially treating numbers and patient symptoms only. What I wasn’t doing was addressing their underlying problems that caused their disease states in the first place. I wanted a way to spend more time with a person and really delve into what they need to do to improve their cardiac health OR help them stave away future repeat cardiac issues that they already may have. I currently offer 3 Wellness coaching packages. They build on each other depending on a client’s price point and how long they prefer to work with me. I offer 1, 4, or 8 sessions. These sessions are an hour long and can be tailored to a person’s needs, depending on what issues they need to work on. For example, once we identify the issues (let’s say, to get them off some of their medication and lower their blood pressure and cholesterol), we then identify how we are going to do this. For example, eating healthier and starting an exercise plan. We delve into how to do this successfully step-by-step. I also do speaking engagements in the community and love to educate people about heart disease. My target audience is those people who want to live healthier lives whether they have medical issues diagnosed already or not. People who want to learn how to eat better, exercise more effectively, and understand their bodies in a medical organizational sense.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
I have two young children (5 and 6 yrs old). My “Why” for becoming an entrepreneur really boils down to the fact that I don’t see them a lot (and my husband too). I have been punching a clock for almost 20 years now and when I see that they are growing up too fast, and that I am gone from them for 10 hrs + per day, that frustrates me as a mom. I enjoy my current 9-5 job but want to make a bigger difference in the world and know that I have the potential to do so. We live in a world of indulgence and so many of us are gaining weight and eating all of the wrong foods, and hence, have to take a multitude of medications that make us feel even worse!
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
The biggest influencer of business for me has been T Harv Eker, as I have attended many of his work shops/conferences in the past. They inspired me to play bigger and do my own thing but while also having the mindset to do so. Other influencers have been all of the business owners in the world who are killing it in regards to their smaller on-line businesses. What I mean is people like me who traded their 9-5’s to start a business on their own, have succeeded, and have never looked back.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment is solidifying a monthly TV segment on a local TV station’s show, called Bridgestreet. They allow me to come on once a month and showcase a different topic each time of my choice. This is a great chance for me to talk about heart health to the viewers of Syracuse, NY.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Someone once told me to “go big or go home” which I try not to forget. I know many of us have heard of that phrase on our lives. But it reminds me to keep striving for what I want and to never give up. There are always going to be road blocks but I know I can plow past them and continue to persevere.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Actually, word of mouth has been my greatest asset in this realm. I have loyal clients and they pass my name along to a friend or colleague which has been wonderful.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I have learned to stay organized and log everything in it’s own place. By that, I mean, if it’s paper, keep a 3 ring notebook with tabs, so you can file. If it’s electronic, keep emails organized and expenses logged, for example. Keep desktop folders with all of your documents and don’t forget to back your data up so you don’t lose it one day if your computer crashes. I am a very organized person in general, but I have found I need to be even more organized and tidy when it comes to the business.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
Don’t laugh, but youtube has been my friend in regards to figuring out “how” to do something. New business owners have many tasks, and many of them we don’t know how to do. So having a place where someone else can explain how to do it is a life saver! Also, knowing where to outsource some of your work is helpful. I have used sites such as fiverr and guru with good success.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
I have just completed my new online program called “off My Meds!”. It took me about 8 months to complete and it is a program that helps people get off of some of their medications, so that they are not dependent on them. I am looking forward to marketing it as I know so many people take a lot of medications and I can’t wait to simplify their lives in this regards.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I enjoy cooking, traveling, and even just sitting in the sauna at the gym after a long work out. Anything that involves warmth, I’m in!
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
I’d like to market and sell my new program successfully. The marketing piece, to me, can be daunting, but with the proper training and help, I know I can succeed.
You want to write a book on …..
I’d want to write a book about polypharmacy. Polypharmacy just means taking multiple medications. I want to concisely show the advantages and disadvantages of taking medications (because it’s not all bad of course) and that when you do see and understand the disadvantages, it IS possible for many people to get off of their medications. In a way, I’d be taking my online program and creating a book with the same topics.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Heart disease in woman presents in very different ways than it does in men, but, it can be prevented in most instances. As women, we need to be very knowledgeable about heart disease in general, as it’s the #1 killer in America.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?