Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Have An Intern!

Yes, me! It makes me feel so legitimate as an herbalist. (Why?, I wonder.) A young woman who's a student at our nearby state university found my business card at the local natural foods co-op and sent an email asking to meet me about a possible internship. I was kind of dumbfounded. Follow me? Doing what?

Being a fairly new herbalist I don't yet have a lot of clients (very few so far, in fact). I still have felt engaged in the herbal process, however, as I'm making medicines, attending classes, fielding questions and doing some teaching on a regular basis. But the getting clients to come see me thing, that's eluded me. To be honest, I haven't put much time into it, except for putting a few business cards around town. Part of it is I have a hard time asking people for money! I'm still not 100% sure of my skills and whether I can help people or not, and to charge money for visiting clients seems a bit of a stretch.

However, that perspective of mine needs to change. And I know it. It turns out that having an intern, a young student who wants to learn from me, may be the best thing that's happened to my herb business yet. She's helping me change my perspective.

To get more client time, I've sent out an email to friends and neighbors offering 10 free herbal consulatations with one follow-up each. I got a great response! I think I will end up seeing 15 people and my intern will be able to observe and get in as much as 30 hours for her 80-hour internship. (I just couldn't say no to anyone, so we'll do 15...;-))

So many of the respondees are so excited about coming to see me, and hopefully being helped herbally with any issues they have. That makes me excited! And I always love doing anything that has to do with herbs, a sure sign that this is what I'm meant to do. Also, I have had some good feedback recently from a client who came to see me this summer for symptoms around menopause. She got my free consult email offer and replied back that her problems had completely cleared up and she did believe it was the herbs that helped (for what it's worth, she got lemon balm and nettles based on the pulse testing I did to find the right remedies). I was thrilled! Here I had been worrying about this client because I hadn't had much feedback from her...For the most part I have gotten positive feedback now from everyone I've "treated". That is reassuring, as well.

The other things my intern and I will do together are decant some of the tinctures I have sitting on my kitchen counter from this past spring and summer; make one or two root tinctures since this is the season for that and we can use dried roots; and attend some herb classes together.

I am looking forward to getting to know Ashley, and to seeing many more clients with her learning at my side. And who knows, these "free" appointments may end up bringing many rewards back to me in the form of referrals, etc. It feels like we're on the right track.


Matriarchy said...

Congratulations! Having run my own businesses for years, I have seen how hard it is for women to place monetary value on their time, especially when doing nurturing work. Just keep in mind that even if you are not feeling completely expert about every little thing, you do know WAY more than your clients, who have not studied at all.

And thanks for reminding me to dig up some enchinecea roots - I forgot and it's not too late.

Mon said...

Lisa, this is so great.

You sund as bad as me with business, lol. I was terrible, and still am at fishing for clients. I'm also terrible at the money thing.

Sending out free consultations sounds like it was just the right approach for you. I remember getting a handful of clients (reflexology) when I donated treatments for a raffle. I think a lot of people are concerned to try something 'new' and so a free offer at least gets them in the door.

Keep us updated about this intern, looking forward to seeing how it goes.

plantainpatch said...

Congratsd! You sound so excited. Looking forward to updates.