Welcome to our Nurse Entrepreneur Series. This edition features Joyce Harrell, RN, OCN, founder of Joyce Harrell Wellness. Joyce is a nurse with 24 years’ experience. She’s worked in many specialties, but has spent the last 16 years in oncology. Joyce is embarking on a new journey as a nurse entrepreneur. She’s a great example of someone who’s still blending a bit of two lifestyles — that of a working nurse and a burgeoning entrepreneur.
Q. How long have you been a nurse? What’s your nursing background/experience?
A. I’ve been a nurse 24 years now. My background has been varied, but concentrated for the past 15-16 years in oncology. I’ve also worked in home health, ICU, CHF clinic, rehab and med/surg.
Q. Can you briefly describe how you came to holistic wellness coaching and aromatherapy?
A. I’ve been interested in natural health things since way before I became a nurse. It was out of my own continued interest in natural health that I discovered the world of aromatherapy as early at 16 years ago as I began to make soap, and then about 8 years ago as I learned more about the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. The wellness coaching was discovered during my own personal time of burnout about 5 years ago. It’s been a journey, and I’ve now blended my love for natural health and sharing with others how to discover their own wellness path.
Q. What are the greatest challenges of running your own business?
A. At this time, I still work as a registered nurse. So to me the greatest challenge is my work-life balance as I am working as a nurse full time, and also growing and nurturing my wholistic wellness business to a self-sufficient state. I take time out periods to rest and restore.
Q. What are the best things about being a nurse entrepreneur?
A. I’m able to draw on my years of experience and education as a nurse, and I find I’ve had great experiences as a nurse which has strengthened my ability to create my own business. I’ve been a nurse manager, so the training I had and workshops I’ve been able to attend always add to my experience bank as I use principles in growing my business. Going into nursing, I really wanted to help people. See positive changes in their lives. I’m doing that as a holistic wellness coach/aromatherapist, but it’s very fulfilling because I’m sharing out of my passion and purpose, and seeing those lives changed and enriched.
Q. Can you share a particularly gratifying client experience?
A. One woman who came to me for weight release … we actually dug deeper into what would make her happy. We got to the core of her wellness (weight is usually only a symptom, not a cause) and she had a hidden desire to go to grad school. She started taking steps, and actually applied and got accepted into the program that she really wanted to complete. She graduates in August. I spoke to her last week. She is very happy. She has released much of her weight and she feels very fulfilled in her life.
I have so many stories related to aromatherapy, it’s hard to pinpoint one or two success stories. Helping people deal with stress reduction and pain issues have been particularly successful. I have a friend who we worked with on her pain issues in her knees. She was having much pain and unable to run or bike. She is 62 and is now able to run, bike, and keep up with three very active grandchildren now due to using some oils which are anti-inflammatory in nature. And my own stress reduction success with oils … well, that’s one reason I have my story. It’s been phenomenal in my own life. There isn’t a day that goes by where my own life isn’t touched by oils and the principles I’ve learned as a wellness coach. I’ve used it all to save me. And so now I can share with others the healing from my own pain.
Q. Looking back, as you started your business, what do you wish you had known? What advice would you give others?
A. I wish I would have known then about belief breakthrough. I carried too many limiting beliefs and didn’t know how to break through those. Didn’t realize I could. So, I now incorporate some of this with others in my wellness coaching. I would have also started working in my own passion earlier. I didn’t realize I could be a nurse AND utilize my passion for natural health and living. I thought I could either be a nurse and believe in the Western medicine model, or I could believe in natural health/healing. I should have been more vocal to share my belief in holistic healing earlier on. I was and still am a pioneer of sorts. Confidence in your dreams is very important. You have those desires and passions for a reason. Don’t lose heart. Keep moving forward. Follow your heart.