Order Matters When Building A Business, Too: Alumni Spotlight with Andrea Irving, FNTP, RWP, & Business Mentor

Margaret Floyd Barry

February 8, 2023

Alumni Spotlight with Andrea Irving, FNTP, RWP, & Business Mentor

Restorative Wellness Practitioner Andrea Irving knows a thing or two about getting a successful start. 

Prior to opening her own private practice, Andrea had built a successful career in the start-up space – including her role as co-founder of an early-stage fintech company. In fact, it was her entrepreneurial passion and drive to build something from the ground up that Andrea credits for helping her replace her corporate income within five months of becoming a practitioner. 

But, Andrea’s success story didn’t happen overnight. It began years earlier when Andrea first noticed her health was suffering…


Like most RWPs, Andrea underwent her own healing journey before deciding to become a practitioner. She had been on birth control for nearly 15 years and didn’t think much of it. That is, until she came off of it and her health began to crumble…

Andrea began suffering from a whole host of gastrointestinal issues that led her to doctor after doctor, only to leave her without any answers. One suggested she take a Vitamin D supplement. Many told her the food she was eating wouldn’t impact her symptoms. All of them assured her she was fine. 

But, she wasn’t fine. 

Knowing there had to be something she could do to find relief, she enrolled in the NTA’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program to learn more about how food could support her health. It was there that she started to learn about the role gut health played in her physical and mental health. She also started to piece together aspects of her past that likely compromised her gut health along the way, noting “I ate so much fast food as a kid. I was like a Taco Bell 3x a day girl.”

While Andrea was already seeing clients upon completion of her FNTP certification, it wasn’t until she learned about how to actually improve gut health – specifically, how to optimize her digestion through Restorative Wellness Solutions’ Mastering the Art & Science of Gastrointestinal Healing course – that she experienced a dramatic improvement in her own health and quality of life. “I quickly realized ‘Oh, wow! This is so much bigger than I thought.’ Understanding how to optimize digestion was not only practice-changing in how I worked with clients, but it was life-changing for me and my health,” said Andrea.  


As Andrea’s health improved, so did the health of her business. “Before RWS, I was helping people with general nutrition. But, I didn’t have the tools to dig deeper and help them get to the root cause of their symptoms. That all changed once I learned how to run a GI-MAP, and my clients’ results changed, too,” she shared. Also key to this success was learning when, why, and how to work with supplements, Andrea added, noting “People can’t truly heal without supportive supplements and RWS teaches how to use supplements safely and effectively better than anyone else.”

Demand for her time quickly outgrew her capacity, so Andrea decided to create her now-signature hybrid coaching program Beyond the Basics, which is a 3-month group program focused on helping participants restore their gut health and rebalance their hormones. It was through this program – combined with seeing 1:1 clients – that Andrea was able to hit and sustain a six-figure business. “People were loving Beyond the Basics because it was more accessible. And, from a business perspective, I had other programs I could cross-sell and upsell participants to if they were the right fit and could use further support,” said Andrea.

In fact, it was so successful that she found herself constantly fielding questions from other practitioners wondering how she was doing it – which inspired Andrea to launch the business mentorship side of Balance Made Simple. “I love building businesses and, with my background in start-ups and the interest I was receiving from other practitioners, I knew I wanted to help practitioners breakthrough from a business perspective.”

Much like the innate healing priorities of the body (read: you can’t optimize your health until you’ve optimized your digestion), building a business has innate priorities, too – starting with the core product or service you’re offering. “I see so many practitioners spend too much time on the back end of their business – instead, I encourage individuals to get out in front of their business,” says Andrea, adding “So many people get caught up focusing on their logo, getting a website set-up, and even having business cards created. But, the reality is, in order to launch a successful business you need to start with – and truly focus on – the core of what your business is. If it’s helping people improve their health, focus on showing up, meeting people, and finding a way to help them. You don’t need a freebie or a funnel right away. What you need is clients.”


As Andrea’s practice, Balance Made Simple, has grown to include 1:1 nutrition coaching, group nutrition programs, and 1:1 business coaching for practitioners, so has her team. She currently has a business manager supporting her in the day-to-day of the business and recently hired another practitioner trained in advance lab testing to support her growing roster of clients. We asked Andrea for her top tips to growing a successful, sustainable business and here’s what she had to say:

Do NOT wait to get started: “There’s this myth that you need to know everything. But, you don’t – you simply need to be 2-3 steps ahead of your client,” says Andrea. She recommends that practitioners start where they are and understand that they can continuously refine who they work with, what they specialize in, and how they structure their business along the way. This means starting before you’re even done with your training program by sharing what you’re learning while you’re in it (which, by the way, many of our most successful alumni have shared as a secret to success). 

For example, Andrea’s nutrition practice started out more general through the lens of balance in eating – and has become more and more focused on gut and hormone health as she learned news skills in each RWS course she has completed.  

Build a business that works for YOU: Andrea emphasizes the importance of building a business the way you want it to run. In fact, she says she learned this the hard way after burning herself out early on. “I was trading time for money to get to the next level. But, I hit rock bottom. My health hit rock bottom. I had built a business based on what I thought success should look like, instead of what I really wanted, which – in my case – was more freedom. I see clients do this too – they look to others for how they should be building their business. Instead, I try to coach clients on getting clear on what feels right to them – because, it is possible to build a business that feels right to you – and then help them take steps in that direction.” 

Need some support in this area? Two questions Andrea encourages practitioners to start with to get clarity include: 

“What do you want your life to look like?” 

“How will your business support this?” 

Another helpful tip? Remember that success is defined by YOU!

Get out of the box: Similar to thinking your business needs to run a certain way, Andrea sees a lot of practitioners feeling like they need to act or sound a certain way, too – especially on social media. For Andrea, social media has been a huge part of her business growth with most clients finding her either through Instagram or client referrals. And, she encourages it for clients who enjoy it, too, as it‘s a great way to build a community, establish a presence, and have people to actually sell to. But, she encourages practitioners who choose this route to stop putting themselves in boxes.

“In order to be successful, you need to be you. That is what makes your business unique. Don’t focus on what other people are saying or doing. Instead, think about your clients – what are the types of things you’re talking to them about. How are you talking to them about it? What tips are you giving them? Now, show up just like that for your prospective audience, too. And, just as important, if social media isn’t something you enjoy, then don’t do it!”

Ask for help: As an entrepreneur well-versed in starting from square one, Andrea reminds practitioners “Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t know how to do something, including something in your business. Business isn’t meant to be done alone and – take it from me – getting the help and support I needed has allowed me to evolve my business in ways I never imagined possible.”

Don’t stop showing up once things start working: For practitioners who’ve started to see some success, it can be easy to forget about the basics. But, Andrea encourages you to keep showing up – “Even though you have plenty of clients today, you need to continue building your business of tomorrow. I recommend clients allocate one day each week to working on the business – creating content, building programs, selling programs, discovery calls, etc. This also means you need to figure out what your max capacity is for client work while also leaving enough time and energy for building the business.”

Stay focused, just like we ask our nutrition clients to: It’s easy to get distracted by all the things you could or should be doing in your business, just like our clients can easily get overwhelmed with everything they could or should be doing to improve their health. If you’re feeling frustration or overwhelm around your business, Andrea encourages you to simplify your efforts in order to amplify your results:

-Reduce the amount of content you’re consuming – Remember, feelings of inadequacy are often from overconsuming content and comparing yourself

-Refocus your attention on who you want to help and how you want to help them – This will empower you to take more clear, focused action

-Create content that adds value for your ideal client and work to consistently show up and share that value – It’s important to note that consistency does not mean every day and sharing does not mean it has to be through social media – it’s about what feels right (and sustainable) to you

If you’re ready to build a business based on better client results like Andrea, be sure to check out our foundational class – Mastering the Art & Science of Gastrointestinal Healing. In less than 12 weeks, you’ll gain the skills and confidence you need to get your clients life-changing results. But, hurry – registration for our next class closes on March 6, 2023!


Andrea Irving is a Restorative Wellness Practitioner and founder of Balance Made Simple, a private practice that offers nutrition coaching aimed at helping individuals optimize their gut and hormone health and business mentoring to health practitioners looking to optimize their business. You can find Andrea on Instagram @itsandreairving and @balancemadesimple

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