Turn lemons into lemonade - how I built a successful lemonade stand

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade – How I Built A Successful Online Business (or Lemonade Stand!)

I do hope that by sharing my own entrepreneurial journey with you of how I made a rather huge leap from Health Practitioner to Wellness Business Mentor, that you’ll come to understand that each and every journey is not only unique, but it’s a path that each of us have to walk in order to build the business of our dreams – and one that is truly life-changing.

And I’m not saying that path is a smooth one either, nor are there any true “overnight successes”.

So I think the best place for me to start is when I had already been running my nutritional consulting practice for about 4 years in an offline/brick & mortar setting to when I decided that I was done with 1:1 in-person consulting.

In fact, I was starting to feel like I was done with being a nutritionist all together!

I’m done with 1-to-1 Nutrition Consulting… now what?! (Build a successful online business of course! But how?!)

My focus had been women’s health & hormones, and after living and breathing nothing else for most of that time – I was completely burnt out, to put it simply.

Turns out I had been struggling with my own hormonal chaos = dysfunctional adrenals, hypercortisolism and hypothyroidism.

Which, interestingly, these were many of the very health issues I had been counseling my nutrition clients on, doing talks on, and writing articles about — and what had also been staring me right in the face for months!

It’s exactly how it sounds too = pooped out adrenals, continually jacked up cortisol levels and a poorly functioning thyroid — which all left me physically exhausted, mentally foggy, an emotional hot mess, overweight, and not recognizing my own body or face in the mirror anymore.

Needless to say, I felt like a complete fraud in my women’s health & nutrition business when I was dispensing health advice and trying to help other busy women to shed those extra pounds that I couldn’t seem to get a handle on myself!!

Turning Lemons into Lemonade | How I built a successful online business | Making Lemonade with Krista Goncalves

{Love the juice? Pin the sweetness!}

So I gave up my offline nutrition practice and decided to go 100% virtual.

Side note: But was that so that I could “hide” more effectively, and not have to “be seen” while still keeping my nutrition biz going?

(Because I honestly didn’t know what else I was going to do if I wasn’t a Nutritionist – it was part of my identity!)

Yep, looking back, that was definitely part of my decision-making, but I wouldn’t fully realize this hard truth until later on… keep reading!

Surely an online business was going to be an easy transition from an entirely offline one, umm, right? Except for the fact that I didn’t really know how or where to start as I was now back at home full time with my kids too, on top of trying to create a brand new business model.

I decided the best place to start was a blog, that I originally called MAKING LEMONADE because through all of those setbacks in my own health that I was still experiencing — you know, those lemons life likes to throw at you?

Well, I pretty much just said, “Fuck it, I’m just going to make lemonade!” Click To Tweet

And, how did I turn this juicy AF blogging idea into a successful online business?

Well, as you know, ‘Making Lemonade with Krista Goncalves’ is now the name of my current business, because from its seedling stage as a women’s health blog, I grew pretty attached to it and a personal brand really was squeezed from it.

(See what I did there?)

But, how did I go from “just a blog” and make it into an honest to goodness business with some pulp in it, at the time?


It was when I stopped treating my blog like a hobby that I finally got my lightbulb moment. I simply had decided once and for all that this “thing” was going to generate a profit if it killed me!

So I went to work, soaked in as much juice as I could about how to profit from blogging, and how to run an online health business, and I created an actual business plan.

Then I dug deep into creating a complete digital platform that would be the home of my virtual nutrition consulting practice, and I even added some downloadable products like meals plans and health guides.

Do you want to how to incorporate other revenue streams (some that are passive) to your health, wellness & nutrition business?

READ / WATCH all about that! >> HERE

This new 100% virtual nutrition consulting business worked well and even thrived for about a year. I was booked out with clients from all over the world, and was also really enjoying creating content and downloadable digital products for health seekers.

It became apparent to me that I had a real knack for writing and I enjoyed doing it the most for my new business – it was so rewarding to push out a piece of valuable content for my community!

But, there was something that just wasn’t jiving for me yet, and I still kept thinking that I wasn’t fulfilling my true purpose…

And then the answer struck me the day I took on a new client — a woman in her early late 20’s, who was also a nutrition student, was struggling with adrenal dysfunction – yeah, more hormones!

After we had wrapped up one of our nutrition counseling sessions, she asked if she could “pick my brain” – you know how much you love it when people ask that!

I was surprisingly eager to have my business brain picked for a change! After all, I had learned so much over the previous 5 years as a nutritionist (4 years offline + 1 year online) and had had an exceptionally steep learning curve when I transitioned to a 100% online one.

You know, I like to say that I come from a place of what NOT to do in business, especially online wellness business – it’s just such a fickle, crowded space. More juicy lemons!

But, I’ve never concealed the fact that it was and continues to be an exceptional challenge to navigate around this in my own business. Oh, and it seems to change DAILY!

So, armed with my experience, knowledge and newfound passion, I felt like I had much to offer this up and coming nutrition professional. And so it went…

And now what is my true purpose in business – and in life?

It’s to help other women entrepreneurs, specifically in the health & wellness space that I’m so passionate about and invested in, to get started in their business (or take it to the next level) without so much confusion, frustration, lack of confidence and prevent them from developing a nasty case of comparisonitisas I certainly did!

The thing is, when a brand new health pro (whether that’s a nutritionist, dietitian, naturopath, chiropractor, massage therapist, energy worker or fitness pro) gets out of school, finishes their course work or is handed their piece of paper that deems them a bonafide Health Pro…

They usually don’t know the first thing about running a business… or social media & digital marketing… or graphic design… or how to set-up and maintain a website… or…

I sure didn’t know any of those things at the time when I started my nutrition consulting business (actually my 2nd health-focused biz) – and now I’m on my 4th business, and I still feel that I have so much to learn!

So, that has quite literally become my mission – to empower new and seasoned health & wellness business owners alike to…

Rise up to the level that they’re meant to take their business - and to shine in all the ways they’re meant to, and make their big impact on this world. #riseupandshine Click To Tweet

But, I think what that really translates to is that many of the women I work with also have families and are trying to balance their home lives with building a business.

I know this to be an exceptionally daunting task as I myself experienced multiple health issues, as well as coming close to quitting my business several times due to the stress and overwhelm of it all!

Time to Woman Up! Online business tips with Krista Goncalves

So, ultimately at the heart of what I do, and in my own heart of hearts, is to help female entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of building their wellness businesses while still having a life and keeping their health intact!

This leads me to share with you what my greatest failures are, and what I learned from them…

Where to start in my long list of what I would do differently?! I’ll admit that it’s hard not to sit and ruminate on all of my past mistakes, but this just fuels limiting beliefs and keeps you stuck. Been there, done there.

As I wrote in the article: Fighting Your Limiting Beliefs

This IS who I am. I am going to hold myself accountable and SHOW UP as the most powerful, joyful, loving, creative, daring, bold, quirky, oddly funny, freaking amazing version of ME possible.

To accomplish this means…

NO more apologizing for being who I am, NO more shrinking for others and absolutely NO more guilt about my failures. Failures are simply part of the journey – my journey. #FailUp Click To Tweet

So, I’ve learned to take my biggest mistakes and turn them into my most valuable lessons. (again with the turning lemons into lemonade reference!)

And, once again, I truly come from a place of what NOT to do in business.

#FailUp | Making Lemonade with Krista Goncalves

Among the things that I’ve learned since I made the transition from an offline to an online nutrition business, and then a year later when I transitioned from being a Holistic Nutritionist who served women health seekers to a Business Mentor, Brand Strategist & Copywriter, who now serves other Health Practitioners are…


1 / Trying to do it all yourself and keeping up the appearance of a one-woman show – it just spells burn out!!

THE LESSON: Get the help you require. Not every business task is going to be in your wheelhouse. In fact, learning how to run a business may seem like a different language to you at first. #languageofbusiness Click To Tweet

Don’t make the same mistake I did thinking you can do everything yourself and that if you just watch this webinar, and that YouTube video, and if you just buy this course and download that free guide that you’ll have it all figured out in no time and your business will be booming within a few months.

I urge you to find a business mentor who understands your industry and who’s been where you are. That’s always a good starting point!

Then, once you’ve got a solid business plan in place, have started to build the foundations of your business, consider hiring support people to take on the tasks that are not in your zone of genius.

For me – that is social media management and a lot of the techy behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on in my business in order for it to run smoothly on a day to day basis.

2 / Thinking that a digital marketing strategy wasn’t necessary, and that included building a strong presence on social media, putting myself out there and showing up… every day. I absolutely loathed having to be “on” social media at all actually and have always disliked taking pictures of myself.

I also thought that writing well-researched, entertaining blog posts were enough. As in, “write it and they will come”. 

NOPE! It just doesn’t work that way.

Just because you wrote something on your blog, doesn’t mean anyone is going to read it. You have to spend about twice as long promoting your content as you did writing it! #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

THE LESSON: learn about digital & content marketing, or find someone who does know about it and can help you develop and execute a strategy that works for your particular business – not one that seems to work for someone who appears to be crushing it on Instagram.(And let me just add that appearances… can be deceiving!)

Your words can change the world. But only if you're brave enough to share them | Making Lemonade Quote

3 / Trying to compete, instead of collaborating with my peers – or those who I would have deemed as my “competition” under normal circumstances in the wellness business space.

THE LESSON: I learned that by just taking a calculated risk (which often felt more like a giant cliff jump) and connecting with more people in my industry – even those who were doing very similar work to me, and who I had thought of as mentors, I could actually create leverage in my own business.

This came in the form of:

  • Connecting both on and offline, which lead to being connected with and referred to other people – some of whom became clients
  • List building or list sharing opportunities
  • Guest posting and broadening your content, which in turn builds up your authority and gets your name out there
  • And so many other ways that collaboration can help to build your business.

So, those were the TOP 3 MISTAKES, that if I could go back to the very beginning of all of my businesses (but especially in this current one) that I would change right out of the gate.

I now see how much each of those things held me back and almost like I was trying to build a business while functioning purely in a state of fear!

How do I get through the hardest moments in business?

After I allow myself to move into hot mess mode for a short time…

I do some deep breathing exercises and a little introspection exercise with myself, which may result in taking some extra time for self-care and time with my family.

I also evaluate WHY it felt so hard, and how I’m going to deal with it if and when it comes up again.

I’ve learned to give myself permission to feel ALL THE FEELS, but then to move on from it, and get past it – rather than wallow in it and further fuel my limiting beliefs like “I’m not good enough. I’m never going to achieve success like so-and-so…” as I would have done a few years ago.

I’ll also add that while my family brings me the greatest joy, they’re also one of the biggest challenges for me in my business life.

So, that leads me to share with you how I manage my online business AND my family life:

The Goncalves Family | Making Lemonade with Krista GoncalvesThis is something that comes up a lot for my own clients and many other female entrepreneurs.

This has always been a tough one for me personally because I am such a busy-body, to begin with, and I’ve owned my own business since before I had kids.

Then two kids came along, who are now 11 & 8, and the funny thing about little people is that they need you and take up so much of your time and energy.

And then there’s your partner who needs a piece of your time and energy. And the list of commitments and responsibilities to family and to the community goes on.

And, how do I manage it ALL?

It really lies in my “non-negotiables”, as I call them – which I feel are also my habits for success!

My morning routine and my other non-negotiables (like daily exercise) are what I can attribute to getting shit done, and are the underpinnings of the success that I feel I’ve had in my business, especially over the past year, when I finally made a hard line where my non-negotiables were concerned.

During my morning routine, where I get up really early (really early), grab my coffee (which may or may not be bulletproof!) and I start writing like a madwoman.

It’s that time and starting my day like that, that really allows me to have a sense of balance in the management of my business AND my family life.

Funny as it may sound (or horrifying to non-morning people!), getting up really early and getting a chunk of work under my belt OR sometimes getting a workout in, has honestly been a game-changer this past year.

I feel more accomplished by 9 am than I previously would have in a random/no-routine day by say 4 pm – and having a pre-established routine has become my everything.

I don’t think I could do it any other way now – especially with my busy family life, where the kids need to be chauffeured around everywhere after school and on the weekends.

Another way I was able to find balance was when I hired a VA & social media manager! This has freed up so much time to focus on what really needed my attention = my family + my own stuff 🙂

As much as I loooove working directly with clients (and producing kickass content for them), my own projects went completely by the wayside and my true vision for my business was not being realized.

Yes, outsourcing is going to feel like just one more thing that you have to spend money on in your business, but from my experience, it’s worth every penny when you connect with the right support person. It’s an investment today – in your success tomorrow.

My top advice to other lady bosses & wellness entrepreneurs…

The big needle movers for me were the things that “blossomed” from my failures actually – and these are the things that gave me palpable forward movement AND what are still working like a hot damn to this day…

Here are the take-home pieces that I hope you’ll take to heart:

Don’t go it alone.

Just because you are a “solopreneur” does not mean you need to be alone. Find your people, connect with your tribe, collaborate with other business owners — and love ’em all up.

Collaborate with other like-minded online business owners… with a similar audience to yours.

I’m so over-the-moon about this idea that I did a whole expert round-up blog post with all 10 of my health & wellness industry “woman crushes”. Check it out!

9 women every wellness entrepreneur should follow | Successful online business tips | Making Lemonade with Krista Goncalves


Please don’t compare your Year One with someone else’s Year Three, Four or so on.

This was one of my biggest sticking points when I first started ALL four of my businesses – was constantly playing the comparison game with my peers!

(notice how I didn’t say competition?)

There is massive learning, change, and growth that happens from one year to the next and even happens from one month to the next.

For example, I am now going into Year Three of my current business and it’s virtually unrecognizable from my fledgling business in year one and from my first client who was another health practitioner rather than a health seeker as I had been accustomed to for the 5 previous years.

It was nerve-wracking at first to start writing for and mentoring my peers and colleagues – and now it just feels good, and like I was meant to do this kind of work. Like I’m finally fulfilling my purpose!

And I want you to feel like that too!! Which I know you can and you will.

Speaking of not doing it alone & connecting with a community…

Have you joined the Juice Up Your Wellness Biz + Brand Community yet?

We’re all about supporting our fellow Health Pros & Wellness Business Owners.

(Good vibes only! Pinkie promise.)