By Diana Garcia
Meet Nicole Fillion-Robin (LAc, MAcOM, Dipl. OM), a board-certified acupuncturist, second-generation herbalist, and founder of As Your Are Acupuncture. The daughter of a librarian and engineer, her love languages are providing resources and collaborative problem solving, both of which are heavily reflected in her style of care for clients.
After working in the non-profit sector for almost a decade, she found acupuncture as a solution for her own chronic health challenges and was immediately drawn to it. Her specialties include gastrointestinal health, mental health, uterine health and pain management. Her ultimate goal is to provide a judgment-free space for clients to heal and unwind from the stressors of daily life.
Nicole shares her experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too.
Hi Nicole! To get started please tell us what inspired you to start your business?
In the acupuncture world, there are not many full time positions available at this point that offer benefits like a regular job would. I wanted the freedom to treat clients like I would want to be treated while having the flexibility of a small business owner. It’s hard sometimes, since it’s just me, but I also really value the ability to experiment often. It’s a lot faster to pivot and try new things on my own.
What makes your business unique?
When people come to acupuncture for health conditions, it’s often as a last resort. They have often been passed around by different doctors’ offices and specialists. I aim to spend the time needed with each new patient to understand their goals and what would make their quality of life better. It’s not so much a unique business model, but I try to see folks as they move around in the world, as part of a societal ecosystem while helping them live in an easier and lighter way without judgment.
What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business? How did you overcome this?
We have like… 3 credit hours of practice management in school before we graduate and get sent into the world. Everything I learned was on the fly, and there is still SO MUCH to learn. I’m making mistakes as I go, but I take comfort in that everything is fixable and mistakes are part of the learning process. I also did not want to take out any small business loans when starting my business, since I had so much student debt. I chose to start little by little while working a full time W2 job, which alleviated some of the stress I felt to immediately make money, and allowed me to really think about what I wanted my clinic to look and feel like when I was ready to take the leap and do it full time.
“EGBI’s organizers and volunteers have been so generous with their time and knowledge – it gave me the confidence and structure I needed to get started and learn as I went.” – Nicole Fillion-Robin
What workshops have you taken at EGBI?
I took the 90 days to Business Success, as well as some business coaching sessions.
How has EGBI helped you?
EGBI (and Leo specifically!) helped give me some structure when I was first starting out. As a mentor, Leo had questions to ask me while coaching that I hadn’t even considered. I also really appreciate that they have specialists you can consult with as needed for advice (like CPAs), which can be costly if paying out of pocket when you first start out. I really appreciate all the volunteers.
Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.