Holistic Well: Fiona’s
journey from journalism
to wellness

Six months into her venture, Fiona O'Rourke stands as the driving force behind Holistic Well, a sanctuary for wellness nestled in the heart of County Leitrim, Ireland. In our conversation, Fiona shared her journey from the bustling world of journalism to her heartfelt pursuit of holistic healing. Here's an insightful glimpse into the evolution of Holistic Well.

From journalism to healing

Fiona's transition from journalism to holistic therapy was prompted by a desire for a more balanced and family-centric lifestyle. “I just lost my spark and love for it, and it was very demanding,” Fiona reflects on her journalism career.

Despite her success as a journalist, the constant demands and juggling multiple roles in the ever-evolving media landscape, took a toll on her passion, pushing her to explore avenues that aligned more closely with her personal values and aspirations.

Venturing into massage therapy and later delving into acupuncture, Fiona found solace in holistic healing practices. “I started off as a journalist, but my interest had kind of gone into health and wellness and the body healing itself under the right conditions,” she shares.

It was lovely as a therapist to sort of give and not take.

Overcoming the financial challenges

Fiona's decision to take the leap and open her own practice was not just a career change but a lifestyle transformation. “The biggest leap was actually financially. From getting my wages into my bank account once a month, all of a sudden having to sort that out on a week-to-week basis,” she admits.

Adjusting to solopreneurship brought unique challenges. “Sometimes the hardest part is actually asking for payment at the end of the treatment,” Fiona shares, a departure from her previous career where monetary transactions weren't directly linked to her work.

Furthermore, Fiona highlights the importance of strategic planning and a soft landing. “Where the investment was, was to give myself a soft landing. It was saving up to that and knowing how much money I need to get through the first months and then assess where I am,” she shares.

I don't push anything on anybody. We have a consultation, and I give them my honest advice.

Nurturing client trust

As with all new businesses, building a clientele proved challenging in the beginning but the transition from questioning as a journalist to offering solace as a massage therapist was a seamless but profound change for Fiona. “It was lovely as a therapist to sort of give and not take,” Fiona admits.

At the core of ‘Holistic Well’ is Fiona’s philosophy of care: providing quality service and tailoring advice and treatments to individual needs without pressuring clients into unnecessary commitments. She focuses on offering honest advice, stating, “I don't push anything on anybody. We have a consultation, and I give them my honest advice.”

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Client management with Vev

Fiona found Vev to manage appointments without needing a website. She sought a user-friendly platform and simplicity for herself and her clients, stating, “I was looking for a booking company that was simple to use, that wasn't gonna cost me much, and that customers were going to be able to just easily see my appointments and click in.”

Fiona appreciated Vev's clean design and straightforward interface, affirming, “when I looked at Vev, I thought, ‘it’s simple, it's clean, I like the design, and it's giving the information that I want.’” She highlighted the platform's popularity among clients, noting, “my clients really love it actually,” and sharing anecdotes of friends booking appointments late at night, emphasizing its convenience and accessibility.

Furthermore, Fiona valued the platform's information delivery: “I like the information that I'm getting, and it's not too much either. It's not bombarding me with a load of statistics I don't really want to hear about.”

When I looked at Vev, I thought, it’s simple, it's clean, I like the design, and it's giving the information that I want.

Future aspirations

Looking ahead, Fiona's aspirations for Holistic Well are rooted in educating the community and adding more services. “I aim to expand my treatment offerings, integrating traditional Chinese medicine upon completion of my acupuncture studies,” she shares.

She envisions a paradigm shift towards holistic wellness, advocating for proactive health practices over reactive interventions. With a focus on education and empowerment, she hopes to inspire others to prioritize their health and well-being.

“I hope that with my videos and social media I will help educate people and give them a little bit more information than what's out there. Little things that might inspire some people to do simple changes that could actually help them.”

It's about trusting yourself and saying, you know what, if I fall, I just get back up.

Advice for emerging entrepreneurs

Fiona‘s advice for those starting anew centers on prioritizing well-being, fostering self-assurance, and viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth. Inspired by a book on time management, she emphasizes the need to identify the top five priorities. “You have to prioritize what's important,” she shares, highlighting the impact of work on well-being.

Regarding career change, Fiona rejects the idea of a daunting leap, asserting, “For most people, it isn't an absolute leap.” Despite common fears of failure, she encourages overcoming them, and highlights the need for self-trust, “It's about trusting yourself and saying, you know what, if I fall, I just get back up.”

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