Tell us about yourself
My name is Ashleigh Norris, I am a holistic nutritionist, my business is the Soulful Sprout and I am based in Toronto. I work with clients with hormone imbalance and autoimmune diseases teaching them how to relay a new foundation with their health and live in a more sustainable way.
I got my start in holistic nutrition through my own health challenges. About 4 years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 27. This was the pivot point. I changed my entire life, I started getting deeper into health and wellness. I went back to school to study and to learn how to become more empowered when it comes to health.
Before I was diagnosed I was working in the dental industry. The rampant use of toxins and chemicals on a daily basis is something I attribute a lot to becoming ill. I was still working in a health profession in a role where I could help empower people about their health, it was just a different dynamic. The type of toxins we would be exposed to in various industries that we tend to overlook can be our daily cleaners, detergents, cleaning agents, or fluoride for example in the dental industry. Each industry is faced with its own collection of different chemicals people working there would be exposed to.
With the services that you offer through The Soulful Sprout, what do you want clients to learn?
I offer a vast variety of services depending on my clients needs. These services often include functional testing, dash hormone testing where we would test an array of hormones that cause an imbalance in peoples body’s, or food sensitivity testing to get to the bottom of digestive disorders.
I work with clients in a 1:1 coaching capacity so we really look at the things plaguing them and come up with an early sustainable plan for healing. Often times this is over a longer period of time like 3 months so that when the work is done, they know how to carry on with this type of healing and don’t revert back to how they were feeling before we started.
What is a common obstacle your clients face?
A fear. This fear isn't about how the practitioner is going to be, they've done their research, they know someone's reputation before they’ve decided to work with them. It’s more of a fear about can I do this, is this a good time for me in my life, do I have enough support to make these empowered changes. What I do is have my clients drop down into is this moment right now when they’re most motivated to make a change, that is really a pivot point in their life. You can change the trajectory of how you feel on a daily basis.
When a client comes up against those challenges and those fears, it's my job to reassure them that they have the tools and the right practitioner but they also have the support to make these empowered changes.
What inspired you on your journey to entrepreneurship?
I feel like I was born as an entrepreneur. It didn't really have much to do with my health, In fact, I was working as an entrepreneur in the dental industry before I started in the nutrition industry. I love being able to cultivate a sense of independence and follow my own passion, and as I age and as my passions shift.
What is one of the biggest obstacles you encountered in establishing your business from the ground up? What kept you going?
Staying in my own lane. There are so many nutritionists out there doing amazing things. It was really important to me to stay true to myself and this can oftentimes be very challenging when you live in a world where you are exposed to other peoples messaging all the time. Just staying true to myself, getting really clear on my why and understanding who I’m really here to help.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would do differently or wish you had done sooner when starting The Soulful Sprout?
I’m sure every entrepreneur feels this along their entrepreneurial journey, but I do wish I had invested in certain things sooner. Things like coaching or certain software that I use to run my practice. I took more of a DIY approach in the beginning, and I realized how empowering those tools can be for me in my practice years later.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received goes far beyond just being an entrepreneur. I often tell my clients this as well. “Start before you’re ready”. There’s a lot of things we know we need to do. And we attribute our readiness to being prepared, well educated, having a certain start date, time of the year, time of the month. and the best advice is really just to start.
Did you have any important female figures in your life, or is there anyone in particular who inspires you?
I don't have one particular female figure in my life that inspires me, but I draw inspiration by watching a collective of female entrepreneurs who are doing really amazing things in this world. The thing that inspires me most is integrity. Staying true to who you are no matter how much money or fame is thrown your way. I find that really inspiring.
How would you define female empowerment?
A collection of attitudes and philosophies. But the way that I feel really empowered as a female is to step into myself, share my message freely and lovingly in a perfect balance of feminine and masculine energy, which is really hard to encompass in the entrepreneur world. Just being true and authentic to yourself.
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