Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The "Entrepreneur" section in the Post-Bulletin in Minnesota spotlights the brave souls who own and run micro-businesses in the Rochester area. A total of 70,075 Minnesota firms had four or fewer employees in 2015. That's about 60 percent out of the state's total 117,124 businesses. This is a Q&A with one of them, Jane Kelley, a, practitioner of Chinese medicine.
Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.
Question: Describe your business?
Answer: I'm a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. I help people for "complete wellness for body, mind and spirit." This includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chinese massage, cupping, Chinese food therapy and Tai Chi. I help people feel better by inserting very small, sterilized needles into the body. This stimulates the body to produce self-healing chemicals that we already have and relieves a number of conditions, including pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression and digestive issues, to name a few.
Acupuncture helps prevent illness by improving the overall functioning of the body's immune system and organ systems. And can be used for treating existing illnesses and injuries, preventing illness and improving overall health.
Question: What's your title?
Answer: Licensed acupuncturist
Question: What drove you to launch your own business?
Answer: Personal experience. Fourteen years ago, I ended up with a large, herniated disc in my back that required surgery. Afterwards I tried to go back to work too soon and suffered from chronic back pain for three years. I was told that I would have to live with the pain, and I was determined to find pain relief. I discovered acupuncture to be very helpful, and I no longer suffer from chronic back pain.
I originally went to college to be a nurse, after I was put in a job that I didn't like, due to the pain I was experiencing. I got into the nursing program, but it wasn't for me. So finished up my undergraduate studies with dual associates' degrees in arts and sciences, and then onward for master's of acupuncture degree and an internship in China.
Question: How many hours do you typically work in a week?
Answer: I work part time about 32 hours a week.
Question: How many employees?
Answer: I'm my only employee.
Question: When did you start your business?
Answer: I opened my practice in June 2013.
Question: If you left another job to start this business, what was it?
Answer: I worked at Mayo Clinic in the allied health field for a total of 35 years.
Question: Do you work elsewhere in addition to the time you put in at your business?
Answer: No, this is my one and only job. I still do volunteer at Mayo Clinic.
Question: What sacrifices did you make to launch this business and to keep it running?
Answer: When I first started my practice, I needed to work about 60 hours a week and needed to put my love of gardening on hold for awhile.
Question: What is the best thing about owning a business?
Answer: Helping others to feel better! And setting my own work hours to accommodate my other varied interests.
Question: What is the hardest thing about owning a business?
Answer: It can sometimes be a little isolating, and it was an adjustment to having every workday different. I have just recently been able to have the time to go back to my other interests in gardening, making health products, and teaching Tai Chi.
Question: What's your hope for your business in the next year?
Answer: To help my patients to feel better and to be able to empower them to take additional steps toward better health. I also want to expand on teaching private Tai Chi and Qigong lessons and add in some health workshops.
Question: What inspires you to keep doing it?
Answer: I love helping people! It's so rewarding to be able to help someone who has been suffering, sometimes for years, with either pain, insomnia, digestive issues, to name a few conditions, and finally see that they are getting some relief. I meet too many varied and interesting patients, and every day I work is different from the day before.
Question: Knowing what you know now, would you do anything different?
Answer: I guess I probably would have tried to work for someone else in this field first. The one that was lacking in graduate school was the marketing.