What is your story?
Ever since I can remember I have beat to my own drum and have stuck my neck out for the underdog. From early childhood memories of standing up to bullies and helping fellow classmates find their voice, to current day of helping my clients and friends remove their perceived barriers and limiting thoughts, I have always wanted to help others. My poor mother would try to explain to me, “You can not save everyone Kristen; worry about yourself.”
I did not just land on my “yellow-brick road” directly out of high school; I admire others knowing what they wanted at an early age and then achieving it. I was conflicted what major to study in college, so I went to work and tried the four-letter word: LIFE. After managing a large retailer for several years, I knew I had a talent for business development and sales. I decided to take the plunge and go back to college. I was 25, a single mom with a failed marriage, autoimmune issues, and a bit lost. To say I was terrified of failure, was an understatement. But, my girlfriend Rebecca helped push me through my initial fears and I graduated with Bachelors in Business. I attended college as a single mother, worked full time, and started a nonprofit with Rebecca and three others called the Buffalo Wellness Center. I then went on to become a college director, work towards my masters in Psychology, became a Life Coach and started my own business called 716 Health.
I stepped away from the Buffalo Wellness Center due to time constraints; but they are still operating and help people who are dealing with an illness and having financial difficulties afford holistic care and support-a wonderful cause. I joined Change MS Wellness Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for anyone affected by MS, as their President in 2016. I have also worked with so many other beautiful charities in WNY: Kaely’s Kindness, Wings Flights of Hope, and WNY Alzheimer’s Association to name a few.
I left corporate America one year ago to pursue more of my passions and grow my practice. I had to follow my gut-feeling and the advice I would give my clients if they were not feeling fulfilled in life- With great risks, comes great rewards! Chelsea Gill, my business partner, and I have been blessed to design wellness programs for Whole Foods, Kaely’s Kindness, Bison Botanics, many local colleges, wellness centers and doctor’s offices. As a motivational speaker, I have spoken all over the nation and am blessed to turn my pain into purpose!
What message do you like to promote?
My message is loud and clear: You are so much bigger than your worries and current situation.
You can reprogram your brain, I love talking about neuroplasticity, and your life. 90 percent of illness is due to lifestyle and stress (I love Epigenetics), and you can and will attract the life you dream of. As someone who had nothing given to her and scraped by with bills; I decided to prioritize my life and live with no excuses – you can too!
In What Capacity do You LEAD UP in your community?
I donate my time to help others every month. I volunteer my time to provide motivation and support to our local MS community. You can find me every 3rd Thursday of every month 7-8:30pm at WNY Pain Relief & Integrative Wellness Center (4415 Union Rd, Cheektowaga, NY) at our Change MS Support Group where anyone affected by MS is welcome. I also created a 716 Health scholarship to help those who would like a mentor and life coach, but can’t afford it due to financial difficulties. I donate to three people every month to help giveback. All I ask of the scholarship recipients is to help someone else when they are on their feet!
Reach one, teach one!
In business and/or life share a struggle you overcame that women can relate to?
I think women struggle with judgement; judgement of themselves and others. We need a judgement detox and to be happy for other happy women! If you are a stay at home mom and happy – that is GREAT! If you are a mom who works and are happy – GREAT!
The less time you are judging others, the more time you can work on your own personal progress. And if you are not happy with yourself, do not resent others who are; just work on your own progress daily. Worry attracts more worry, so have an attitude of gratitude to ground you.
Did you have a Mentor, Coach or Sponsor along the way that was essential to your growth and success? If so, who was it and why?
Yes, Yes, Yes! So many mentors. My best teachers were my parents; they never complained and taught us the value of hard work and helping others. Tony Ferro, the Founder of Change MS, has been a huge asset in reminding me or work/life balance. I consider Tony Robbins, Gabrielle Bernstein, Mel Robbins, Les Brown, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Brice Lipton, and Dr. Amen a few of my teachers as well.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do…whether it’s at 716 Health, Bison Botanics or Change MS?
I help people remember their magic and uncover their life’s purpose- what could be more meaning than that! I am blessed and grateful.
If you could give one piece of advice for the women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
You will have ups and downs; but, if you keep learning, are humble, and never give up; you will be unstoppable. And if you need help, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.