Ani Anderson Takes Holistic Education to New Heights: The Story of NEW Health Inc.

Michelle Whiting
8 min readFeb 6, 2024

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Photo credit: ZVD photography

Ani Anderson is the CEO of NEW Health Inc., a global professional development company and home to Somatic Coaching Academy, Institute for Rehabilitative Qigong & Tai Chi, and Motivation Beyond Measure. NEW Health provides mastery-level holistic professional education, training, and coaching solutions to the most cutting-edge coaches, therapists, and experts. Since 2012, NEW Health has provided world-class educational opportunities that integrate holistic solutions into mainstream systems.

For more details, visit their websites at http://www.newwayofhealth.com and http://www.somaticcoachingacademy.com.

Here we sit down with Ani, to know a bit more about her journey as an entrepreneur.

Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

Ani: Before I had children I watched colleagues who were a little older than me having babies and coming back to work 6 weeks after giving birth. I watched them crying as they left their babies, pumping milk on breaks at work, and the sacrifices they made to bring home money to live on so they could spend it on daycare.

I never wanted to be that mom. I didn’t want to leave my baby. When I got pregnant, I knew I wanted to leave my 9–5 job. I also was clear that I loved to work and didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom exclusively. The way to make it work was to take owning my own business seriously.

Q. How did you get started?

Ani: After college, I worked as an occupational therapist in the Western medical system. As a part of my licensure requirements, I needed to take continuing education courses and I especially gravitated toward holistic techniques.

The things that I learned were not readily accepted by my bosses. I used some of the techniques while no one was looking but for the most part, I knew if I wanted to do what I wanted to do I would have to start seeing clients on the side, and I did just that. I worked my day job and started seeing a few private pay clients on the side for holistic rehabilitation. After starting my side hustle, I quickly developed a relationship with a well-known holistic practitioner in town who wanted an experienced professional to recommend to her pediatric clients.

Because of my extensive schooling, I was the perfect match and readily saw her pediatric referrals. This was all a part-time after-hours gig until I had my daughter. After that, I still worked part-time on the side but left my day job. When my daughter was 5 and my son was 3, I joined two other holistic practitioners in my area to open a wellness center. This was the start of feeling like a real business owner. The professional education company my partner and I created began in the wellness center and quickly scaled to an online training institute.

Photo credit: Sonju Photography

Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?

Ani: My biggest challenge starting up was getting people to come to my workshops, classes, and sessions. I had enough business to make a few bucks on the side but not enough to support myself or a family. This wasn’t a big concern at first because my husband at the time had a full-time job as a public school administrator. It wasn’t until he left his job that I started to get scared and concerned about making a living.

Necessity is such a valuable gift. My first solution when my husband left his job to go out on his own was to try to get food stamps. Because of his previous income level, we were denied and that’s when I knew I had to make it work. That was when I started taking a little more time away from home and putting more hours in with client care. It did break my heart to potentially miss a moment with my children so it was a constant balancing act of trying to do more work online or sell products like DVDs so I didn’t have to be away with clients but that never did seem to work.

It wasn’t until finally I decided to receive coaching to work on my money mindset and learn sales that things started to turn around. It never occurred to me that I had a sales problem or even that sales was a thing I needed to concern myself with. It never occurred to me that the amount of money I earned had anything to do with a set point I had been taught by my parents and was perpetuating as an adult. These valuable lessons about money and business are still at the cornerstone of what I love to support our clients in learning.

Q. What is the most memorable thing you’ve done since you started your business?

Ani: While I have had many memorable experiences in my business, one of my favorites is the first time I decided to sell a program past the early bird deadline. For years I ran workshops and hosted programs, never charging enough money to really make a living. I would set a deadline for the early bird pricing to expire and then decide if I was going to run the program or not based on enrollment at that time.

If I had enough people in the workshop by the time the early bird deadline came, I’d run the program. If I didn’t have enough people, I would cancel it. The first time I hosted a true coaching program I charged $497 for the 6-week sessions as the early bird price. The price was a major stretch for me. I sent emails and newsletters about this program and I had even sold two seats, but the early bird price deadline was looming… and it occurred to me that now I had to stretch myself even further to charge the regular price at $797.

I wanted to discontinue the program, but at the urgency of my coach at the time, I continued through the early bird pricing to sell the program at $797. I started having sales conversations with people because otherwise there was no way I was going to have more than two people in the program. I remember being in my car, speaking to a person who was interested in the course.

The early bird deadline had already passed and I almost wanted to convince her not to sign up. While telling me her story, the woman told me that she had been raised by a holocaust survivor’s father and she thought this program would help her to change the limiting way of thinking she had inherited. She wanted to be able to give herself permission to retire and enjoy her grandchildren.

Her story touched my heart to the core and I knew I could help her. At that moment the money didn’t even matter. I ended up having 6 people join me for that program and it gave me so much confidence. People had tremendous breakthroughs. The client who wanted to leave her job to spend time with her grandchildren did just that and thanked me over and over for helping her change her life.

Charging enough money for my time and moving beyond the early bird price deadline was a turning point for me in my career. I started to understand the tremendous impact I could have on people’s lives and that created a motivation for me to continue moving forward that I carry with me to this day. Now my most memorable moments are when our students at the Somatic Coaching Academy tell us their success stories in gaining and retaining clients.

Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?

Ani: I would recommend anyone interested in amplifying their professional development read my book Find Your Soul’s Agenda: The One Word that will make your whole life a success. I wrote this book because there is a common misconception that when we’re living our purpose it’s going to feel great all the time. Living a successful and purpose-filled life does not always feel fun.

There are times that we will feel absolutely challenged and those times are no less on purpose than the times we feel like a success. Everyone has a blueprint for a successful life inside of them and no two blueprints look alike. We can look to others for clues but ultimately we have to follow our own path in order to have both outward success and inward fulfillment. When you know your soul’s agenda you’ll have a compass for making decisions and a willpower and curiosity to move through any challenge.

This book is a first step in a person’s learning journey to understand the somatic coaching skills we teach at the Somatic Coaching Academy and will provide sustainable changes in a person’s life, even if they have yet to have success with personal or professional changes they have tried to make.

Photo credit: Sonju Photography

Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?

Ani: I am already very happy with the legacy I’m leaving and I feel more and more blessed as it continues to grow. Our company’s work has influenced how thousands of practitioners treat and coach their clients. Those clients are going on to live better, higher quality lives because of the techniques their practitioners have chosen to use as a part of their treatment or coaching plans.

Our company has been a part of shaping how holistic methods are being used in hospitals, clinics, organizations, and private practices around the world. We are shaping the landscape of the growing somatic coaching profession. I feel humbled and honored to know that we’re a part of that.

At the end of the day, it’s the parent who’s a little more compassionate with their child or the boss who takes more time to listen to their employee… it’s the care that we give one another in the human experience and the individual lives that we’ve touched and impacted that I’m most proud of and will always continue to be. My legacy is in the client results that our students get and the testimonials and case studies they receive. Every person our students get to help with the tools that we’ve created leaves our mark in people’s hearts.

Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?

Ani: Don’t take anything personally.

To keep up to date with Ani and her journey, connect with her on Youtube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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Michelle Whiting

Copywriter, publicist & entrepreneur. Passionate about sharing empowering and informative stories from thought leaders across the globe.