We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Hess and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alicia, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
It took me over a decade of working in healthcare to truly learn the importance of work/life balance. Hospital work as an RN required long hours of back-breaking patient care, little to no time for breaks to eat or drink water, and the constant stress of keeping up with an overwhelmed healthcare system, trying to push patients in and out of the hospital as fast as we could. Sure, I only worked 3-4 days a week working 12-hour shifts, but it would take me at least 2 days to mentally and physically recover!

Fast forward to getting my master’s degree and becoming a Nurse Practitioner, in the hopes that getting away from bedside care would be easier and less punishing on my body. Ha! Transitioning into the common Monday-Friday 9-5 work week was a huge adjustment for me. It was difficult to balance time for the gym, doctors’ appointments, general errands, and my relationship. Because of the overwhelming load of patients I would see in a week, charts would pile up and I’d spend my weekends finishing charts and sometimes taking call for the office. This was not ideal nor what I expected to be considered a better work/life balance! In the midst of the COVID pandemic, my situation only got worse. I quickly experienced burn out due to the overwhelming demands of community COVID outbreaks. Anxiety and depression came over me quickly and for the first time in my life I was desperate for help and resorted to antidepressant medication to just get me through it. I thought about quitting many times but couldn’t bear the guilt I’d have by leaving my other cohorts short-staffed.

It wasn’t until I listened to a motivational podcast one day (I wish I could recall the name) when I finally realized I needed to take action. Living this work life of constant stress and anxiety would eventually take a toll on my mental and physical health. It didn’t take much for this motivational speaker to change my mindset and free myself of any guilt I had about leaving a toxic work environment. The following week I put in my 3-weeks’ notice, and immediately a weight was lifted! Fortunately, I had clinched a less-stressful part-time job, where scheduling was flexible, and I could choose my workdays. I weaned myself off my antidepressant, and live a much more comfortable, balanced work life. On top of that, I’m finding time to build an online health coaching business to serve clients around the world who are struggling with optimizing their gut health! Eventually, my goal is to solely operate my online business and help my clients heal with high-level support from me, and allowing myself an optimal work/life balance by working days and hours on my own terms!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

I launched my online health consulting business, I Am Wellness, in November 2021. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, the telemedicine and virtual consulting era started booming! This sparked my interest in starting my own virtual health consulting business to offer truly unique, personalized, high-level support and guidance for highly motivated men and women struggling with gut issues, low energy, high blood sugar, and inflammatory symptoms. Usually our most bothersome symptoms are a reflection of our bodies trying to signal that we are ingesting or exposing ourselves to something it deems toxic!  In contrast to the limitations on the practitioner and patient relationship in the traditional healthcare setting, I desired to design a niche-specific coaching program for an exclusive number of clients. By keeping my program limited to only a handful of clients every 6 months, I am able to provide 1 on 1 support to each client on a consistent basis via Zoom calls, texting, emails, etc. It’s like having a health coach in your back pocket!

It’s taken years of trial and error in my career to figure out what truly makes me happy and passionate about showing up to work and serve my patients and clients. It was those rare moments when I was able to have uninterrupted, lengthier appointments with them to really spend time diving deep into their symptom history, educating, and personalizing a treatment plan for them. The appreciation and invaluable information each of us gained from each other was so rewarding, and I felt like I was actually making a difference in someone’s life and building a trusting provider-patient relationship. I wanted to be able to offer this invaluable time to others more often, and that’s when I explored a business in online health consulting so that I could reach clients anywhere in the country from the comfort of my home!

The biggest challenge to starting up my own online business was learning how to do it. I had no clue where to start! I discovered Maggie Berghoff’s Business Mastermind program. She and her team of mentors have helped me every step of the way to grow my business and. I’ve had to leap boundaries out of my comfort zone by engaging in social media and online marketing strategies to target my ideal niche, but have learned that taking imperfect action will help me grow and become more confident on my entrepreneurial journey.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

I currently live in St. Petersburg, Florida.  We always love to check out new restaurants together, find a cool place on the beach with live music, or take a scooter or bike around the town to check out local markets and boutique shops! We also love to get creative and take photo adventures in interesting places, or cook a unique recipe at home and binge a new show!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mother, Claudia, who has always shown so much support and enthusiasm in my decisions to further my career, even when they may be risky or uncertain. My cousin, Allesondra, who is an inspiration to me as an aspiring and succeeding actress in L.A.! Maggie Berghoff and her team of mentors who are guiding me and supporting me on the difficult, but rewarding, journey towards building a successful online coaching business.

Website: www.aliciamarienp.com

Instagram: _iamwellness

Other: Tik Tok: aliciamarienp

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.