Looking Back: 10 Years of Revive Wellness

10 years! Wow, how time flies. I remember the day I decided to resign from my full time permanent position in nephrology at the University hospital. It was the end of December, 2 weeks after my mom passed away from pancreatic cancer. My boss was so kind to give me an extended leave while my mom was ill and was hoping I would change my mind about resigning.

I can’t explain why I felt such a strong pull to leave a full-time, permanent position to start private practice with no guarantee of anything. When I hit the send button to email my resignation letter I asked my husband, “am I crazy?” I’ve come to realize what I couldn’t articulate then – there was no way we were going to be successful at building a business unless we jumped off the cliff and committed the hours to get our systems in place and build our reputation. So that is what Laura, Robin and I did.

Four Barriers

There were four factors that had a big impact on our ability to create our reputation and build our business.

  1. While nutrition was starting to become more of an interest for people, most still viewed a dietitian as someone they would see if they were sick or wanted to learn more about the Canada Food Guide. There was a general fear associated with seeing us because people thought we were going to put them on a diet.
  2. Insurance companies had recently started adding our services to their benefit plans making it more affordable for people to access our services in private practice. However, the majority still didn’t cover our services.
  3. There were no other companies like ours across Canada. Every dietitian at the time was a sole proprietor, not a team. We did not believe in this model so at first we thought we were all alone.
  4. We discovered that many of our individual and corporate clients thought our services were offered for free. This made it hard to build a business when you are being asked to do work for free.

Each of these issues became obstacles we needed to overcome if our business was going to survive. We quickly realized that none of us had a marketing degree, sales experience, business degree or human resources experience. Basically, we didn’t know anything about running a business and faced a steep learning curve. Laura had just come back from her maternity leave and I had two young children of my own. After 2 years, Laura decided she wanted to dedicate her time to her children so Robin and I continued building Revive.

Sharing Our Passion

Over the next five years we established systems, standards, business processes, policies and procedures, etc. We also realized that we needed to convince people that nutrition plays a key role in reducing or managing chronic diseases. The good news was that we had passion and believed in the power of nutrition. We just had to figure out how to communicate it.

That is exactly what we did – share our passion with our clients, one by one. This passion led to clients telling their friends and family about us bringing in new clients. And then social media started. At first we were completely resistant to sharing our thoughts or writing blogs. We thought being vocal might scare people away, but it actually drew in more new clients. Social media is now the number one way we market our business to individual clients.

A New Chapter

After 7 years I was left with a huge decision as Robin wanted to try something new. I had never imagined running Revive on my own; in my mind it was never an option. I always preferred a team approach as each dietitian has a specialized skill set that might not meet every different client’s needs.

But the thought of closing Revive was not an option either. So I decided to take the challenge on and am very grateful and proud of what we have accomplished as a team. Our hard work paid off and resulted in doubling our growth each of the past three years. We are also about to launch a digital wellness program that has taken 10 years of research and experimentation to complete.

I truly feel like I am living a dream. As hard as it has been to get to this point, it has all been worth it. I wouldn’t change anything we have been through because it has shaped each of us into who we are today. Without that experience the Revive we know today wouldn’t exist.

I feel blessed with the team I have at Revive. Each and every one of them is passionate about helping empower our clients. From professional athletes, corporate clients or individuals and community members, we strive to show each client how wellness impacts their overall performance and health.

We will continue to focus on empowering Canadians to live with energy, vitality and health. It is our greatest honour.


Check out Revive’s current team on the Our Team page!