Mandy King, BCom ’08, discovered her passion for wellness earlier in her career, when she overcame significant health struggles with nutrition and lifestyle changes. She decided to pursue an education to become a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, and has since launched HEAL, a health & wellness company that works with offices who understand the importance of health & wellness, including Google and PwC, to develop programs that help to minimize attrition, increase overall engagement and make the office a healthier and happier place to be. In the past, Mandy has held various roles in marketing at Unilever and has also shared her expertise during a nutrition workshop at QWIL.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from running your own business that you will never be taught in Commerce?
“That you can't work all the time, and taking small breaks, taking time off and taking care of yourself will actually make your business more successful. In the first year, even though I was giving advice to my clients and major companies on how to manage stress, how to eat well and how to practice self-care, I had forgotten to take it myself. You simply can't work all the time because you will burn out. When you prioritize a full day off each week or getting that hour of exercise in daily, you have better concentration, focus and mental clarity and your business will be more successful.”
Students often want to work at a larger company as a new graduate before starting their own business. Were there any specific skills you gained from working at a CPG that have been integral to HEAL’s success?
“Definitely. I would say the two things that come to mind are business planning and analytical skills. In my CPG job, we had to be planning sometimes up to 9-12 months in advance of what we were actually doing. While it seems so far in advance, you are much more likely to hit your goals, whatever they might be, when you have a robust plan of what you are going to do and then have time to tweak and adjust as you go. Secondly, I spent a year early on in my career at Unilever working as an analyst, and the learnings from that job have carried through everything I've done both at Unilever and owning my own company. It's second nature to always be looking at the various revenue streams I have and questioning if it's the most efficient way to be doing things and if there's a better way to do it.”
What advice would you give to Commerce students who dare to differ?
“Don't be afraid to ask for help. Find mentors and coaches that have done exactly what you are looking to do and ask for advice and guidance. Then, take all of the advice with a grain of salt - some you will use and some you won't.”
To learn more, check out Mandy’s Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/healthyeatingandliving_ca/) and website (http://healthyeatingandliving.ca/)!