Jen McLaughlin, Founder and Health Coach, Fed Wellness, LLC
Those who know Jen McLaughlin know that she’s one of the most compassionate and uplifting people you will meet. So, it’s no surprise that when she saw a need for a supportive health community she decided to start one herself. She founded Fed Wellness, LLC in 2010 where she specializes in health coaching and provides classes that range from stress resiliency to dance. What you might not know is that this is not the first business Jen’s owned. In 2001 she co-owned a television and video production company called Binary Sunset Media. She and husband Mike, opened it in Lakeland after returning from years spent living in New York City. There again they saw a need for a job and lifestyle that weren’t currently available. So they created it. Perhaps most importantly, is her family that includes her 15-year-old daughter, Mia, and her beloved West Highland Terrier, McNugget . Together they are up for any adventure, preferably outside, whether it be hiking in the mountains or floating in the ocean. Meet Jen.
1. What is the most interesting thing about you or your business?
Fed Wellness is a health coaching and personal development studio in Lakeland. I have the opportunity to support people who take incredible care of everyone and everything in their lives… except themselves.
I offer one-on-one coaching, facilitate groups, workshops, retreats, team-building, and classes. I’ve coached coaches and trained teachers, but I am most passionate about stress resiliency and women’s health. I believe in supporting health at any size, and also work with special populations like breast cancer and special needs teens.
The most interesting thing about Fed Wellness is the community of women who show up and share so much of themselves.
2. What makes business ownership worth it to you?
There was not a company in Lakeland that I could walk into and do the work I am now doing. My company evolved into what it is because I felt a need and created what I wished existed for myself. Fed Wellness is a safe, soothing, and FUN space for women to share, create, move, eat, heal, and connect.
It provides me the opportunity to develop new workshops every month, and I also bring in all kinds of personal development and holistic health experts, and we learn new things together. Growing personally and professionally right along with the community is an extra bonus to owning this business. The opportunity to support true transformation in another’s life is a gift I get to open every single day.
3. Describe your typical day.
I do not have typical days. I’ve structured my schedule so that I see clients on certain days at certain times. Phone and Skype clients are usually in the mornings. In person clients, afternoons or evenings. I also teach or attend the Yoga, Nia, Pilates, or other classes at Fed Wellness in the evenings on weekdays…After picking up my daughter from school.
I’m also writing blogs, responding to e-mail requests, managing social media, attending community events/networking, or giving talks on relaxation and worksite wellness.
On the weekends, I am leading Let Your Yoga Dance Parties, Stress Resilient Woman workshops or co-leading Creative Journaling, Healthy Dinner Networking Parties, or hosting a number of other holistic health experts in our Try New Things workshops.
4. Would you ever trade running your own business for a 9 to 5 job?
I can’t see myself trading it for some completely unrelated field. But, in my commitment to authenticity, I have to say, there are many times I wish such a thing existed. To do this exact work in a 9-5 capacity where the weight of the business did not rest solely on my shoulders seems like a tasty dangling carrot. But to my knowledge, no such thing exists.
5. What advice would you give to someone considering business ownership or entrepreneurism? Are there certain skills or traits they need to be successful?
My father and sister were entrepreneurs also and I know that desire to follow through with the creation of a business can not just be ignored. You must try. Act. Fail forward if you need to, but sitting around dreaming will not satisfy that hunger.
The number one lesson I have learned is that you can not build or run a business alone. Ask for help. Connect with as many people in a genuine way as possible. Build relationships not a stack of business cards. Referrals are gold. Give more than you ask. Collaboration has served me better than feeling any sense of competition.
- Hire experts – don’t do your own taxes (unless that is your business).
- Believe in your ability to make it work and then work beyond what you believe you are able to do.
- Timing is everything.
- Didn’t work? Try again.
- Try it differently this time.
- Get back up.
- Appreciate the good times more than you fear the lean times.
6. Why do you think you’re successful? What does success mean to you?
Some people look at numbers or accumulated things as markers for success or failure. My father was one of those people. He was a very successful business man by that definition, until he wasn’t. When he lost his business, he took his own life. His definition of success led him to believe that financial failure means death. Except it doesn’t. Not to me.
So, when you ask what success means to me and why I think I’m successful in business of course it made me think of him.
But, I define success in terms of personal growth. Am I a different person now after having experienced that? Did I learn something? Then it was successful. In this way, every single day of my life is a learning adventure and an opportunity for success. The greatest mistakes can be the biggest success of all.
I also believe that the work I do changes lives in an uplifting and positive way and that each person I work with goes on to support another and that feels successful to me.