Health and wellness have always played a strong role in Megan Kennedy’s life. Her Dad had her on ice skates from two years old and skiing downhill at three. Her Mom always stressed the importance of eating good real food.
“People may use the excuse that healthy food costs too much money,” says Megan. But you can make it work. Although money was tight, her single mom raised three girls, always making sure they ate healthy to get the nutrients they needed to thrive.
“Your health is so important,” says Megan. “It affects how you feel on a day to day basis. Who doesn’t want to feel healthy, happy and vibrant?”
Continuing with that focus on health, her mother purchased The Healthy Vibe, a health and wellness store, when Megan was fifteen. “I have a clear memory in my head of her saying ‘if you want a part-time job, come on down to the store and we will learn together,’” says Megan. She ended up working at the store throughout high school and during her first year of university.
At that time, however, her dream was to pursue a career in acting. Megan moved to Tokyo, where she worked as an actress until she was twenty-seven. She even worked as a Princess in Tokyo Disneyland!
She was in Japan during the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. “It was a devastating traumatic time in Japan,” says Megan, “but I also felt that it made me really think about my life, what I wanted, and where I wanted to be.”
Feeling she’d accomplished what she set out to, Megan decided it was time to return home to Newfoundland and ‘find herself’. Moving home meant being closer to family. It also meant figuring out the next step, which was really hard.
But her life was meant to go in another direction.
With her strong passion for health and wellness, Meagan took a position as a weight loss coach but quickly decided that it wasn’t for her. She wanted to run her own business.
She and her mother were always close. “She has always had a lot of faith in my abilities,” says Megan. They decided that the Healthy Vibe’s industry was growing and that there was an obvious need for a Healthy Vibe St. John’s. “It all fell into place,” says Megan. She even met the love of her life, who is now her partner in life and in business, within a few months of returning home.
“Little did I know my destiny awaited me,” says Megan of her decision to return from Tokyo. And little did she know her acting training would play such a key role in giving her the confidence to run her own business and put herself ‘out there’ in order to make that business successful.
“When you feel like your life is crumbling to pieces (literally),” says Megan. “It might just actually be the beginning of amazing things to come.”
Running her own business means she can create flexibility in her life. She recently had a beautiful baby boy, so currently she does most of her work from home.
But whether she’s at the store or working from home, her process for keeping the business running is the same. “The number one thing I have to do is make my to-do list,” says Megan. “If not I end up into a million different things and feel like I accomplished nothing.”
Setting time limits and making sure she takes care of herself while she works are also important. She recommends starting with a good breakfast as it sets your day up for success.
“We spend so much of our lives working that a few small things can make a huge difference in how we feel at the end of the day,” says Megan.
She always sits down to work with a massive jug of water and a big cup of green tea. She also makes sure to take snack/meal breaks.
“You hear a lot of people saying that they are too busy,” says Megan, “but if you take a few minutes to take care of yourself your brain will be that much sharper, you will feel happier (not hangry), have more energy, and be way more productive. Plus you’re less likely to take a sick day!”
Running her own business also means she has a lot of control over customer experience.
“At the Healthy Vibe customer service has always been our number one priority,” says Megan. “We really take the time to get to know our customers so we can help guide them with the right health and wellness products that suit them and their lifestyle.”
Getting customer feedback on how certain products they are taking or using are really making a positive effect in their lives—how they are sleeping better, more energy, or feeling happier—is one of the most gratifying things about her work.
She also loves the variety. “I never go to work doing the same thing day after day,” says Megan. She loves to be challenged, to keep things moving, changing and growing. “Having this output for my creativity is really important.”
But it isn’t always easy.
When she first started, she had a lot to learn and made a lot of mistakes. Although she had some hard lessons, she now realizes if she’d started out where she is today, she may not have been able to handle it.
Growth doesn’t happen overnight. “My mom always says that my generation wants everything right away,” says Megan, and accepting that things take time and happen for a reason can be very hard. “Patience is a virtue: a lesson I am still learning,” she says with a laugh.
Megan has found it’s also not always easy separating business from her personal life. Her mom and husband are both in the business, which has its advantages and challenges. But they’re making it work, and have recently expanded the business to open up a third location in Conception Bay South.
Now that Megan’s a mother herself, she hopes to instill in her kids the same passion for health and wellness that her mother instilled in her. “It’s the best gift you can give,” she says. That, and the knowledge that life is short, so you should be doing something you love.
“There will be challenges in whatever you pursue, but do something that makes you happy and never give up,” says Megan. “Your thoughts create your world, so try and keep them happy.”
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