Dr Christine Manukyan On The 5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry
An Interview With Luke Kervin
Have the CEO mindset and don’t make the practice about your goals. Your practice is all about serving others and changing lives. Making decisions based on what my clients will want, vs making decisions what I want as the CEO of my company. This is so important to have the CEO mindset and understand every decision we are making is it helping us to grow is are we making decision to support our ego. As an entrepreneur, mindset is everything and how we show up for our clients is how we show up in our own life.
The global health and wellness market is worth more than 1.5 trillion dollars. So many people are looking to improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. At the same time, so many people are needed to help provide these services. What does it take to create a highly successful career in the health and wellness industry?
In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry” we are talking to health and wellness professionals who can share insights and stories from their experiences.
In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dr. Christine Manukyan.
Dr. Christine Manukyan is a Functional Medicine Practitioner, Business Coach and 2x Bestselling Author. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she spent 13 years in Corporate America as a clinical pharmacist. After experiencing her own health transformation with Functional Medicine, she found her true calling empowering others to reach their health goals without pharmaceuticals.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?
I was born and raised in Yerevan, Armenia and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. Growing up back home life was simple and coming to a new country, not having any family or friends and not speaking the language was hard. I had to learn how to fit in and how to find my purpose in life.
Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?
Growing up in Armenia everything was organic and clean, I didn’t understand there was another way of eating and drinking as a lifestyle. Coming to America, I quickly realized the ‘FOOD’ I eat can either heal me or hurt me. I learned about GMOs, chemicals, preservatives and how they were affecting my health. At age 35, I found myself morbidly obese, going trough massive burnout, with high cholesterol and anxiety. I was told by my primary care physician “if I continue this way of living, I will have a heart attack by the time I am 40”. That moment was my wake up call and at that moment I decided to rewrite my story and find alternative ways of healing my health. I am grateful for my friend Dr Cox for saving my life as she introduced me to holistic health and functional medicine. As a result, I lost over 100 lbs, became bodybuilding athlete and a marathon runner and the healthiest version of myself. I went all in because I didn’t want to become a statistics and I wanted to see my kids grow up.
Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?
As I started my own health transformation journey, my “go-to” lifestyle included intermittent fasting. I learned how to incorporate cellular cleansing with nutritional support and have 24 to 48 hours of intermittent fasting several times a month. This lifestyle allowed me to detox all the junk that has been accumulating in my gut and visceral fat that were causing all the health issues, such as stress, low energy, weight gain, inflammation, brain fog.
To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?
Once I witnessed my own health transformation, I started helping others to incorporate this lifestyle. As a result I helped over 300 people transform their life by incorporating holistic lifestyle and intermittent fasting. I found my purpose in life, which is to help 1 million people around the world incorporate functional medicine and holistic lifestyle in their lives. I am a huge advocate educating and mentoring other clinicians to become functional medicine practitioners so they can help me to make my dreams reality, and together we impact 1 million lives around the world. It all started keeping my EYE on my WHY, and giving everyone a second chance to rewrite their STORRIE and become the best version of themselves.
Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
One of the biggest challenges I faced during my health transformation journey and during my entrepreneurship journey as a Functional Medicine Practitioner, was being too hard on myself and trying to be perfect by setting unrealistic goals. This added pressure and stress in my life and my journey was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be.
Can you share with us how the work you are doing is helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Can you share a story that illustrates that?
May 11, 2020 I launched my functional medicine virtual practice and several months later, August of 2020 I found the calling to leave my career as a clinical pharmacist for 13 years and move into being full time entrepreneur and full time mom. I am on a mission to impact 1 million lives around the world with functional medicine and for me to accomplish this goal I am committed helping and mentoring 1000 clinicians to become Certified Functional Medicine Specialists from my program, Functional Medicine Business Academy, so they can each impact 1000 lives. Now collectively we are bringing functional medicine into 1 million households around the world. The work I do inside the Academy has bigger impact. I am leading Functional Medicine Revolution and I know more and more clinicians will learn how to integrate their clinical background and holistic health into their practice. Functional Medicine will become the foundation of health.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
November 9, 2021 I published my very first collaborative book ‘Unleash The STORRIE Within’ that included mine and 18 other clinicians who have transformed their lives with functional medicine and are now practicing as a functional medicine practitioners. We wrote and published the book in 5 months and became #1 new release on amazon in 8 different categories, including holistic medicine. I am currently helping 22 clinicians to get their story written and published in the second release of our collaborative book ‘Unleash The STORRIE Within’ releasing 3.22.22. This book is full of true stories of medical professionals combining their personal experience, expertise, and education with holistic practices and beginning the Functional Medicine Revolution. We all believe that everyone can heal from within through integrative lifestyle change rather than treating every ill with a pill. We are bringing hope to everyone who is silently suffering and may not have experienced the true healing that starts from within when we bring in holistic lifestyle into our lives.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
In my humble opinion, decision making has been suppressed over the years in our lives. Many clinicians are taking forever to make a decision, they are constantly worried about if they say something, someone may sue them and therefore clinicians have been conditions to ask for permission from their superior before they make a decision. This has also impacted our personal lives as many of us have forgotten how exciting it is when you make a decision that’s so out of your comfort zone but makes you feel so good. I am speaking from experience when I say this. One of the character traits that have contributed to my success as an entrepreneur, is learning how to make decisions every single day. Bigger decisions have higher risks associated but that excites me because I know how incredible things will turn out. Deciding to leave my secure 6 figure job during the global pandemic and step into the unknown space of entrepreneurship was one of the biggest decisions I made. I was scary and it wasn’t easy, but what I have been able to create in 2021 because of that has completely changed my life. I have quadrupled my income, I have helped 55 clinicians become Functional Medicine Practitioners and start their practice.
Another character trait that has helped me the most to run a successful and profitable business, is learning to let go of “I can do it all and I can do it better than anyone else’ and embracing that I need to delegate and trust my team. I had to learn and be ok with letting go of ‘being in control of everything’ and let my team do what they are good at, as a matter of fact they are better than I am. This has helped me to hire 3 full time staff who are supporting my business as I am scaling to $1 million in 2022. This has also taught me that in order to grow, I have to invest back in my company and expand my team. Many entrepreneurs can’t scale their business because they think they have to make money before they can “afford’ hiring help, instead of understanding what it really costs them when they don’t hire help.
Last but not least, I had to learn how to be ok with not being perfect and knowing I am learning and getting 1% better every single day. The moment I let go of Imposter syndrome and constantly comparing myself to others has helped me so much to grow and also be an example for others who are stuck in the space of trying to be perfect. If I didn’t let to of trying to be perfect and stuck in the mindset I am not ready, I would have never started my Functional Medicine practice and I would have never started Functional Medicine Business Academy.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?
Wellness is defined in so many ways. I see wellness as a lifestyle and overall wellbeing, which includes physical, emotional, financial wellbeing. It’s not one size fits all and wellness looks different for everyone. Most people try to define wellness that’s really restrictive and doesn’t allow room for the individual to make adjustments because ‘they are breaking the rules’. Well, who has set those rules and so what if we want to make changes. To me wellness means I am doing 1% better than yesterday, I am living my life without regrets and I am allowing myself to live life and truly enjoy it vs doing things that are not bringing peace and joy into my life. Wellness includes mind, body and soul. There are no shortcuts.
As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?
Many of us trade our health for our wealth, and then later on trade our wealth to regain the health. When we are healthy, we have million dreams and goals. When we are not healthy, we have only one goal, to be healthy and alive. Focusing on wellness and overall wellbeing should be the number one priority in our lives, especially when we are younger. Many people don’t understand the cumulative effect of unhealthy lifestyle and what it may look like 10–20 years from now. Why is that many people in their 40s and 50s get diagnosed by autoimmune, and most of the time its due to stress and not taking care of ourselves 10 -20 years prior to diagnosis. Don’t take action when it’s too late, take daily steps every single day that are helping you live the best life.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasingly growing understanding of the necessity for companies to be mindful of the wellness of their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, can you share steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental and physical wellness?
Since I left my corporate job during the global pandemic, I didn’t have too much time experiencing how companies help their employees. I recall having help from my employer and arranging childcare with agencies so I can come to work and be in front lines as a hospital pharmacist. That helped my family to know I had temporary childcare and I didn’t had to worry about spending more money on childcare. Taking that financial burden from our shoulders during these critical times was crucial.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
1. Have the CEO mindset and don’t make the practice about your goals. Your practice is all about serving others and changing lives. Making decisions based on what my clients will want, vs making decisions what I want as the CEO of my company. This is so important to have the CEO mindset and understand every decision we are making is it helping us to grow is are we making decision to support our ego. As an entrepreneur, mindset is everything and how we show up for our clients is how we show up in our own life.
2. Create solutions and options for your clients. Most people are not given options and as a functional medicine provider I give my clients options. Create multiple different offers for your clients and meet them where they are. Many clinicians try to limit how many offers to have (i.e. programs with different prices) because they are focusing on ‘how am I going to sell all these programs”, instead of thinking they are creating options for their clients and their client will decide which option is the best fit for them.
3. Sell them what they WANT and give them what they NEED. Be clear what GAP you are solving with your health and wellness practice when you create the offers/programs you are selling, How is your practice helping to close the gap on what’s out there.
4. Position yourself as an expert in this field and don’t discount your services and prices. Most people as they get started price their services based on what they think their ideal client will pay, which results in highly discounting their prices and not charging for the true value of the services provided.
5. Provide skills that your client will use for the rest of their life. The lifetime value of your services is priceless.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I have started the movement of leading functional medicine revolution by giving tools and resources to clinicians and patients to rewrite their STORRIE and become the best version of themselves. This movement is allowing everyone understand there is a better way of life, we can have choice and options in life vs being stuck with one option. I am starting a movement that every clinician has enough training, education and expertise to help patients/clients with holistic health. As a clinicians we don’t have to choose between western medicine and functional medicine, we get to choose how we can combine and integrate our expertise and bring functional medicine into every patient’s care plan. This movement has to start with medical schools, pharmacy schools, nursing schools. I am doing my best to bring awareness about functional medicine and what functional medicine practitioners can do into several pharmacy schools and pharmacy organizations.
We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I’ve been such a huge fan of Dr. Mark Hyman, by listening to his podcast and reading his posts on social media. Having private time with him to brainstorm how we can bring functional medicine to every household and make insurance companies pay for our services so more patients can “afford’ our services will be a dream come true. Healthcare should be affordable, especially when it comes to preventative medicine.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Feel free to reach out on my website www.drchristinemanukyan.com or follow my podcast, STORRIE, where I bring incredible guests who are sharing their life transformation STORRIE with functional medicine.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!