Entrepreneur changes clients’ lives one movement at a time at integrative healthcare practice
Janice Cathey immigrated to America from Vietnam at young age. Growing up, her mom was always offering soups and broths and tinctures and all sorts of salves to cure coughs and ward off illness.
“I didn’t see it as medicine at the time. It was more of, Mom, my friends are coming over. Can we put the Chinese woo-woo away?” says Janice. “But in my 20s, she casually mentioned that my great-grandfather was a Chinese medicine man. I was floored. That was the first time I felt empowered by my heritage.”
Going with the flow
As a longtime swim instructor, Janice became fascinated with kinesiology (the mechanics of body movements), and wanted to take on a new career. She became a massage therapist, and quickly developed a real love for anatomy and the interconnectivity of the human body. After 15 years as a private practitioner, she found herself booked out a year in advance, and realized needed to build capacity to reach more people.
Janice was listening to keynote speaker at a National Health Institutes Conference when her vision began to form. “Here was this doctor talking about acupuncture, tai chi, meditation, and bodywork in the same breath as traditional medicine,” says Janice. “I realized this is all health care. This is all medicine. That was the seed that got me started.”
For Janice, what she’d studied in school, her professional experience, and her exploration of her heritage and Chinese medicine all built on each other – and came together as the vision for Ha.Le’ Mind and Body.
A bit of a stretch
Janice’s vision was 6 years in the making and in 2015, she opened the doors of Ha.Lé Mind and Body in Nashville.
“Ha.Lé is an integrative care practice that focuses on functional care and integrative treatments. We’re focused on wellbeing, vitality, and the best health results,” says Janice. “We do that with four pillars of care: acupuncture, bodywork, counseling, and therapeutic movement classes.”
She’d created a new integrative platform of care that her clients could truly benefit from. Even with all of her planning, she still had apprehensions.
“The first year was untangling the details of opening – the licenses, building a team, implementing systems – all of it,” says Janice. “But the second year was the most difficult. The dust settles and it’s the reality of being open. I knew I was strong, smart, and well-trained. But I did wonder once or twice if I really did have the wherewithal to see it through.”
“Opening meant believing that I had the means to hold the vision, even when I didn’t always think that I could do it.” A business that started as a one room office needed more space for the growing client base and team of practitioners. By her third year in business, Janice was established, but needed funding to expand and to open up an entirely new set of doors.
Reaching new heights
Despite a proven business model and a loyal client base, Janice had trouble getting a loan from a traditional bank. “The larger banks I talked to said ‘make your first quarter of a million and come back and let’s talk,’” says Janice.
That’s when Janice came to Pathway Lending.
“It was Pathway who believed in us enough to give us the seed money to grow,” says Janice. “They’ve been a support team that has counseled me and has actually high-fived me and said, ‘You’re doing great, keep going.’”
As a loan client, Janice was paired with a Pathway Lending business advisor to help her work on her accounts and dig into her financial reports. Janice also started sending her team to business ownership classes at Pathway WBC, an educational arm of Pathway Lending.
In 2018, Janice enrolled in Ignite 360, Pathway WBC’s mentoring program. For six months, Janice met with a handpicked team of mentors to identify obstacles and strategize for growth.
“The most challenging thing I’ve learned with Pathway is the reporting of numbers,” she says. “To me, I look at all these numbers and I just see number salad. But my advisor and my Ignite 360 team helped me in creating a dashboard that gives me a flashlight perspective. Now I know exactly where I am month-to-month and can make decisions appropriately. It has been amazing.”
Ha.Le’ means home…
While Pathway Lending has been helping Janice take a holistic look at her business, Janice continues to focus on the holistic health of her clients. The vision that Janice started with has come to fruition. Now, Janice is three years into business and an emerging leader in an industry that is still relatively new.
With Pathway Lending’s help, Ha.Le’ has gone from a one-room care facility to a three-room facility with extra space for classes. The business that only had four practitioners when it opened now has more than 20 independent contractors to teach classes and provide care services, resulting in a significantly improved cash flow.
Even with the success of her business, Janice doesn’t plan on losing her focus on continual improvement. “I hope I’m always discovering myself,” she says. “And I hope I’m always evolving toward that self-discovery. Who I am today is not who I was when I started this journey.”
“My goal for my clients is that they benefit from the practices we offer, whether it’s pain management or pain relief,” she says. “We’re changing our clients’ lives one movement at a time.”
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