Michelle Kolcan graduated from ACHS in 2020 with an AAS in Complementary Alternative Medicine and a specialization in herbalism. She opened her business, Happy Health Naturally, right after graduating.
Growing Up Holistic
Michelle grew up in a family that used natural health and nutrition to stay healthy. “I think that that background gave me faith in the good in doing things naturally,” she says. After spending much of her career in the restaurant industry and then working with plants at a garden center, her interest in a career in holistic health was jump-started when she attended a chiropractic seminar.
“I was invited out of the blue by a friend, they had extra tickets,” Michelle says. “That seminar changed my life. I realized what a chiropractor could do for people even with major illnesses.” She started school to become a chiropractor, but due to time constraints and other responsibilities, she was unable to complete it. At this point, Michelle turned toward her second passion: natural medicine.
“I started going online for schools,” Michelle says. “I saw that ACHS had been around for over 40 years, was run by a president who was very active and still in the process of teaching and learning and traveling and really being a practicer of what was preached. Also saw that I could transfer some credits from the school that I had already started.”
Michelle enjoyed the flexibility that online school offers.“I loved the fact that if I had other things going on, I could simply do things at whatever times worked best for me,” she says. “I liked the fact that you could save money getting the eBooks instead of the printed books.”
“Starting school is not as hard as you would think,” she says. “I took years before even starting. But ACHS has such helpful staff that can easily walk you through every part of it and it’s a lot less involved than you would think. And affordable with financial aid.”
As she went to school at ACHS, Michelle had already been making plans for her business and she opened it the same month that she graduated. “I had already been thinking about my business name and already knew that I wanted to do wellness consults about holistic health and my specialization was in herbalism,” she says.
Happy Health Naturally
Michelle opened Happy Health Naturally in August of 2020. She offers over the phone and in-person wellness consults. She also offers personally made health and beauty products with Organic ingredients, herbal products and tea blends, and food shopping assistance. Her favorite part of her business is hearing people say that they feel better after such a short amount of time. “When you hear it from more than one person, it’s just such a great feeling and it makes all of my efforts worthwhile,” she says.
Michelle started her business during the COVID-19 pandemic and has yet to experience running a business post-pandemic.“Since I had just started my business, it’s hard for me to gauge a difference with the COVID situation,” she says. “My guess would be one reason that it’s been slow is that people are afraid to spend their money when they’re out of work.”
Lessons Learned From Opening a Business
These are a few of the valuable lessons that Michelle learned from opening a business:
- Don’t be afraid to start. “Becoming successful is a combination of many little efforts. You can’t get down a pathway unless you take the first step. It can be slow, but don’t give up.”
- Talk positively to yourself. “Push negative thoughts out of your head right away.”
- Keep up with research. “Remember that even the best doctors out there still have to do research and they keep up with new research. Don’t become complacent, and don’t feel so bad if you’ve forgotten a lot of what you learned in school.”
- Be sincere and show you care. “If you want to become successful with people, it’s important that they see your sincerity and your friendliness. Don’t be afraid to share things in a way that they would understand. You don’t have to talk in medical terms for them to believe that you know what you’re talking about.”
Written by Gillian Turner for the American College of Healthcare Sciences
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media & PR specialist for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
About American College of Healthcare Sciences
American College, founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride and student bond.
This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that reflect 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member.
We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.
When a person enrolls as ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and changing the face of healthcare with knowledge.