UFred alumna writes book on health entrepreneurship

EMBA grad Jennifer Buchanan shares nine principles for developing a business in Wellness Incorporated: The Health Entrepreneurs Handbook

Music therapist Jennifer Buchanan has read many books about business over her nearly 30 years of owning her own – JB Music Therapy. However, over time she noticed a gap in the market for books written specifically for health and wellness entrepreneurs. To address this issue, she decided to write her own.

Jennifer Buchanan

Buchanan was working on her Executive Master’s of Business Administration (EMBA) at the University of Fredericton (UFred) when she decided she would start writing immediately after graduation. She already had a placeholder on her computer for a growing list of ideas.

“When I was in these classes writing papers, I thought, ‘I’m applying this to my own business, and I want to write more about it,’” she said.

The book, Wellness Incorporated: The Health Entrepreneurs Handbook, is planned for launch Jan. 29. It includes nine principles to develop a business, including the dream, the building of the business and finding your “blisspoint.” Buchanan hopes it will encourage and guide other solo entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“I want to find and speak to other health entrepreneurs because I’m passionate about how valuable they are to society,” she said. “I don’t feel like they have a strong enough voice.”

Over the years, Buchanan noticed that while doctors, dentists, chiropractors and the like seem to be successful and have a strong enough presence in the community, counsellors, naturopaths, art therapists and wellness coaches didn’t receive the same depth of business education. She hopes the book will be the jumping-off point for those business owners – and aspiring business owners – to want more business education and improve their acumen.

“It’s an introduction to the philosophy of health entrepreneurs who are also great business leaders. They’re not just sitting behind the scenes and trying to make the best of it on their own.”

Buchanan said so much of her education at UFred is reflected in the book and that while she’s grateful for what she learned from her professors and classmates, she hasn’t mastered it all yet.

“Would I feel that I am heavily involved, even a leader in my industry? I certainly try. But I see the responsibility, and that means you don’t stop there. You have to realize there’s so much more to learn and that there are many more people with better insights to help inform and guide your work and business,” she said.

The book isn’t for just health entrepreneurs; there are many relatable anecdotes and practices that can be valuable to entrepreneurs of all industries and sizes of business.

If there’s one key message Buchanan hopes to get across to her readers, it’s that the best way a business owner can demonstrate care to their clients, patients or customers is by putting care into their business. That’s why she developed the book’s nine principles, to help tune into the many layers of her own business.

“Being part of a care-focused industry doesn’t mean being selfless,” Buchanan said.  In fact, she believes that while many people in health and wellness chose their field because they’re driven to care for others, you can simultaneously build a thriving business that will continue to care for others in the future. But it’s not all about the business, either.

“I want people to take a ‘person first’ approach – focus on the relationships and the outcomes, not the finances,” she said.

Upon the book’s release in January, Buchanan intends to offer nine online classes – one for each chapter of the book –  through the Health Entrepreneur’s Hub to 25 people. The idea to host online classes came from her time at UFred and how enriching it was.

“I just want to support like-minded people in the best way I can.”

Buchanan is looking for 10 to 12 health entrepreneurs to host a Facebook Live event on the day of the book launch, Jan. 29. You can reach her at Jennifer Buchanan Inc. on Facebook and on Instagram @JenniferBuchananInc.

To buy Wellness Incorporated: The Health Entrepreneurs Handbook, you can pre-order from her website starting Jan. 15. Go to wellnessincorporated.ca for links and locations. Her other book, Tune In: A Music Therapy Approach to Life, is also available through her website, as well as worksheets, links to research, and more information about Buchanan and her upcoming speaking engagements.