Alumni Highlight: Vibrant Lifestyle Coaching |

Nov 6, 2020 11:57:22 AM | alumni highlight Alumni Highlight: Vibrant Lifestyle Coaching |

ACHS graduate Miriam Popp talks about opening her online health coaching business and gives advice for new holistic health entrepreneurs.

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Miriam Popp received her Associate of Applied Science in Health and Wellness and Certificate in Wellness Consulting from ACHS, and was named DEAC Famous Alumni in 2019.

Path To Holistic Health

Miriam talks about how she came to realize the importance of holistic health. "During my twenties I had the shingles about 5 times, which is not typical, not normal at all," she says. After the fourth time, she was talking with her new doctor who was the first person to connect her shingles to her lifestyle and ability to manage stress. This started to open Miriam up to the idea that stress was more than just mental and could affect the body physically.

From there, Miriam became a fitness competitor. "I was in the gym six days a week, eating clean, measuring out meals, doing all these things that I thought was healthy," she says. After two years of this, instead of feeling healthier, she felt out of balance and drained. She got shingles for a fifth time because of the stress that this "healthy lifestyle" put on her body. Through this experience, she found her love of nutrition and fitness, and her mom suggested pursuing it further. "We stumbled across ACHS online, and that’s what really got me on my holistic health journey. The desire to have better knowledge, more balanced knowledge," she says.

Starting A Coaching Business

Miriam always thought that she would start her business right after graduating, but she ended up creating Vibrant Lifestyle Coaching with one year still left in school. "I moved from Massachusetts to California. I thought when I came to California I would find a job that would support me through my last year of school before I started my business," Miriam says. "I really struggled to find a job. And I had a friend who said ‘Maybe you’re struggling to find a job, because you haven't created that job yet'." From there, the idea for Vibrant Lifestyle Coaching was born.

Although she started her business earlier than expected, Miriam says that she is grateful for the experience because it gave her some time for trial and error and learning along the way. "I’m glad that I had a year to try different things and flounder around. Then once I did graduate, I was better prepared," she says. This December, her coaching business will have been running for 5 years.

stack-of-rocks-imageMiriam explains what she focuses on in her coaching: "The goal primarily with my coaching programs and everything else that I put out into the world is to help bring the mind, body, and soul self-care tools to help us manage our stress. Open our eyes to the things we are doing, thinking, feeling, and how instead of running from those things we can run into them and use our tools to navigate it."

Although she hoped to participate in more speaking engagements in 2020, the global pandemic put a pause on Miriam's plans. She has also had to alter the ways she works during her volunteering as a youth mentor for girls from underserved populations. But because her coaching business has always been online, she has been able to continue her coaching work in much the same way. "My mission with starting this business is I wanted it to flow with my life," Miriam says. "I wanted my life to feel free and my business to feel free and expansive. My business has always been online-based. My workflow hasn’t been dictated by where I am. In that aspect, COVID has not impacted my work."

Holding Space For Clients

Before becoming a holistic health entrepreneur, Miriam worked as a hairstylist. "People often ask how long I’ve been coaching. I say as an entrepreneur, as a business, five years now. But if I really think about my time as a hairstylist, I was holding space for people and their stories for 13 years," she says. 

All of the people that Miriam worked with as a hairstylist have a part in her story. "As I realized I didn’t have the necessary tools to manage my life and my stress, I realized that that all of these people, whether they were younger than me or older than me, they also did not have tips and tools," she says. 

Now, as a holistic health coach, Miriam is able to help clients by sharing tools that can help people manage their stress. She says that her education at ACHS helped her to understand the impact that stress has on the mind, body, and soul. "ACHS has allowed me to show up more prepared than I could have realized for my clients," she says.

Advice For Aspiring Holistic Health Entrepreneurs

Miriam has four important pieces of advice for new holistic health entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their journey:

  1. Trust yourself. "Trust yourself, trust your vision, trust what you want to bring into this world," Miriam says. "Because there are going to be a lot of times that it feels like maybe it’s not happening or coming together. But you have to trust the work that you’re putting out and trust your effort and keep showing up."
  2. self-care-blocks-imageTrust your education. "I’ve been blown away in session with a client, and suddenly something that I learned in 2014 in one of my courses comes spewing out of me. I really want to hammer home this idea for entrepreneurs to trust themselves," Miriam says.
  3. Create a support system. "The support system you have right now may not be able to uplift you on this journey," Miriam says. "Pull in those people that are ahead of you on the journey, alongside you on the journey, people who will understand your excitement about your accomplishments and people who will understand how much you’re pouring in and how much work it really is on the back end and will cheer you on."
  4.  Put as much time into yourself as you put into your business. "We live in a culture that promotes hustle. I want really hammer home this idea that as much energy as you put into your hustle, put that same amount of energy into taking care of yourself," Miriam says. "I’m sure no one set out to be an entrepreneur in order to burn themselves out. If you’re putting 40 hours into your business, put 40 hours back into yourself, whatever that looks like for you."

You can find Miriam on her website at Vibrant Lifestyle Coaching or follow her on Instagram.

What is the most important piece of advice you have received as an entrepreneur? Let us know in the comments.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the social media coordinator 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.” 

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

ACHS Founding President Dorene Petersen with three studentsAmerican 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.

Gillian Turner

Written By: Gillian Turner

Gillian joined ACHS after graduating from Linfield College with a BA in Mass Communication and a minor in visual studies. She grew up off the grid in rural southern Oregon and spent time exploring the forest surrounding her house and teaching gardening classes to other children in her garden. While at Linfield, Gillian gained valuable experience in public relations, social media management, and digital art. She was awarded a strategic communication scholarship and inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, a national college honor society “that recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication.” When not at work, Gillian can most often be found making art, enjoying nature or drinking coffee with her husband, Preston. Her interests include sustainability, mental wellness, and trying to stay connected to nature while living in the city. She studied abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and has traveled to over ten different countries. Her favorite place that she has visited is the Scottish Highlands, and she hopes to visit many more countries in the future.