Caroline Peyton, founder, Peyton Principles tells us what advice she would give to someone starting out.
What do you currently do at Peyton Principles
I am an experienced naturopath and nutritional therapist at Peyton Principles with clinics in Swindon, Cirencester and offer consultations online globally. I specialise in nutritional therapy, gut and digestive issues as well as wellbeing and building resilience in the workplace.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I spent many years in a pressurised job in the corporate sector experiencing increasing levels of stress. It became more and more unrewarding and I knew I did not want to spend the rest of my working life in such an unhealthy environment. My twin daughters were just five when I turned to a personal passion of mine – nutrition, studied for four years (initially) and left the corporate world to set up my practice. Gaining the skills to support the health of my family as well as others is highly rewarding.
Who do you admire?
There are many women who inspire me for standing up for their beliefs, pushing through boundaries and succeeding. But I particularly admire my mother who has been an inspiration to me from childhood. At one time she was the most senior woman in a corporate FTSE with children. Back in the sixties women left work to have children and did not generally return to the workplace. She encouraged me to work hard and achieve my goals. She has drive, determination and a positive outlook on life. As I write this it is her 86th birthday and her energy and enthusiasm still inspires me today.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I wish I had followed my gut instincts at a younger age. I wish I had chosen different A levels and university degree that were more in tune with my values and beliefs. I was most interested in human biology, food and nutrition at school. As I started work I was always reading books and articles about health. It took me twenty years to follow my passion but I don’t regret that time. I have made many friends, learnt valuable skills and met my husband!
What defines your way of doing business?
From a business perspective being persistent and consistent and never giving up. So many graduates of nutritional therapy never succeed in business yet have so much knowledge to offer.
I have chosen to specialize in two niche areas where I feel I have the most to offer. These are gut health (digestive health, IBS and IBD); and workplace wellbeing as stress and sick leave are rapidly increasing and affecting employee performance.
I believe it is essential to be completely authentic in business. People buy from people, especially in my line of work. And showing empathy and compassion. At the end of the day as well as the knowledge I can offer people, I offer a listening ear. Clients truly get time to voice their thoughts and feelings and have their message heard. So many clients have told me that it’s the first time they have been able to speak out and some have been told whatever they are feeling or experiencing, it is “all in their heads”.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Recognise your worth and value and charge accordingly. Create balance and time for you and build it into your diary. It is important not to allow clients to impinge on your own time. In the therapy industry there is a tendency to give too much of yourself so set boundaries.
Define a plan for the next 1/3/5 years but be prepared to adapt this plan. If it doesn’t work, reflect and move on. Never see it as a failure but as a great learning experience.