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Learning to Embrace Entrepreneurship


Have you ever wanted to do something but been too afraid to do it?

That's how I felt about entrepreneurship. In 2020 I finally took the leap to embrace entrepreneurship. Part of the fear may be because deciding to be an entrepreneur seemed to catch me off guard. Specifically, when I started my weight loss journey in 2015, I had no idea it would also be the start of my business journey.


In late 2014 I was still carrying around 40lbs of the 60lbs I gained during pregnancy, despite giving birth in January 2013. By 2014, I felt so uncomfortable with the extra weight I knew I had to make a change. As I lost weight and learned more about obesity and the misinformation we'd been taught about weight loss, I knew I'd found my passion in medicine.


So I did what any type A perfectionist would do:

-I transformed my relationship with food & stress➡️lose 60lbs total postpartum weight

-I became a runner and within two years ran my first 10k-->half marathon→ full marathon

-I got board certified in Obesity Medicine

-Led a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Clinic in Richmond where I helped others lose >40lb-100lbs


But even with all this, I still felt I needed to do more. In fact, that still small urge that God uses to prompt me was telling me there was more I needed to do based on my experiences.

I needed to help other women :

-Stop obsessing over the numbers on your scale

-Love yourself during the weight journey

-Create a holistic weight and wellness plan that they could stick to


I knew it would be challenging to create the type of practice I envisioned as an employee in a system with competing interests. After all, I had tried to create an obesity practice in the system for >1 year. But I was scared to leave the stability of my job.


My Dad was a serial entrepreneur. Through his experiences, I'd lived through the ups and downs of business first hand. "Can't I still help women as an employee?" I bargained.

So when we relocated to another state, I took a job that "could" work. No surprise, the job didn't. I still had to meet the employer's demands while trying to creatively birth what would become my weight and wellness program, Embrace YOU Weight & Wellness.


When my Dad passed in January 2020, that was my wake up call. I could no longer bury my dreams due to fear. Plus, per my beautiful vision board I created, 2020 is My Year of Courage. So I courageously took the leap.


First, I resigned from my employed position. As much as I loved the patients and my coworkers, trying to juggle those demands plus home life left me with little energy to create and learn business skills.


Second, through the LLC I created, I became an independent contractor at a local nursing & rehabilitation facility. I've always been passionate about geriatric care, plus the position gave me flexibility in my schedule. What I didn't foresee was that COVID-19 would hit this vulnerable population so hard. I've worked through two COVID-19 outbreaks at our facility. My first COVID-19 patient went into respiratory distress and took her final breath right in front of my eyes, despite all efforts to save her. Sadly, she wouldn't be our only patient to pass from COVID-19. Fortunately, the second COVID-19 outbreak that ended two weeks ago was not as deadly. But the shadow that COVID-19 casts over the facility remains. I'm grateful for the vaccine on the horizon.


Lastly, in August 2020, my business baby was born, Embrace YOU Weight & Wellness. Embrace YOU Weight & Wellness helps people stop obsessing over the scale and embrace who they truly are as they lose weight. My first group of clients is midway through the program. It is so rewarding to see the years of misinformation about weight loss melt away as they are empowered with effective strategies to lose weight and keep it off.


Through my experiences and working with thousands of people, I have learned that fear is a natural part of any new experience. However, the strongest antidote to fear is action.

Even a small action in the direction of your dreams helps conquer your fears.


I'm six years into my weight and wellness journey. To maintain my 60lb weight loss for the past six years, I've had to implement many strategies and tools to navigate challenging times. As I embark on my business journey, I choose to embrace entrepreneurship, knowing there will also be challenges. Still, my weight journey has empowered me with the agility I need to persevere and push past fear.


I share my journey with the hope that others that feel stuck, unfulfilled, or afraid will have the courage to move forward. You are greater than your fear. Embrace opportunity.


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DR. SYLVIA GONSAHN-BOLLIE, M.D.
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