Be kind to yourself. Positive thinking truly is a game changer that is not only mindful but also good for mental health. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop and say something kind. Kindness is a true healer.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly Lam, a wellness expert and founder of The Whole Purpose, a company that offers individuals and corporations an innovative approach to physical and emotional wellbeing through Mindful Wellness and Purposeful Communication. The Whole Purpose creates customized wellness programs for corporations and host community wellness events all driven from Kelly’s passion to help others live healthy lives.
After many years working in corporate America, Kelly realized the vital need for healthy and balanced wellness solutions. Through her first-hand experience, she has brought ‘whole’ solutions to various global corporations, skillfully exercising her talents by producing corporate and specialty events that are customized to promote individual health on a broad scale.
Kelly’s passion and expertise combine to create a unique connection with her clients that stems from her own personal journey towards wellness, coupled with the desire to empower others. With many years in the wellness and nutrition sector, she is a seasoned consultant and teacher of yoga, nutrition and health programs designed to achieve optimal wellbeing.
Kelly is an active philanthropist and serves as a board member for several non-profits and organizations including Golden Rule Charity, Southern California Hospice Foundation, University of La Verne’s President’s Advisory Council and the is the president of The Uncorked for Hope Foundation. Her passion to help the community is shown through her hard work and desire to help others live happy and healthy lives.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
The backstory of how The Whole Purpose got started began a little over ten years ago while I was working in commercial real estate. I was in the industry for a decade and was beyond burnt out, unhealthy and overall just not happy. After realizing that the amount of money I was making and the title I had gained didn’t bring me the happiness I imagined it would, I started to turn inward and ask myself the hard-hitting question: What makes me happy?
At this point in my life the only answer I could come up with was yoga. I was practicing yoga each day, and with every class I found a sense of peace I could not find in any other sector of my life. With the support of my husband, I decided to try something that was out of my comfort zone and start a yoga teacher training course. This course was really to help me find myself, a soul-searching journey of sorts that helped me find the direction I needed. I continued to work full time while taking the course and loved it so much that I took another, finishing both my 200-hour and 300-hour RYT — then decided to go back to school to finish my degree. While throwing myself into education, I began to write a business plan that would soon start my journey as the founder of The Whole Purpose. Creating a marriage of my love for corporate America with my newfound love for health and wellness was my new purpose. I left my job, launched The Whole Purpose and have been dedicated to helping others in corporate America find healthy ways to balance work life, home life, stay healthy and be happy while doing it all!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Building the business in the beginning was so interesting. I started a business plan on teaching people wellness in the workplace. Ten years ago, this concept was not heard of by the masses, and pitching the concept was not an easy task. I couldn’t get many to read my business plan, let alone find funding, so I pushed forward and did it on my own. When the company was up and running, I started pitching our services, and I was definitely the pink elephant in every conference room I pitched in. Most businesses did not have wellness funds and thought I was crazy when I asked why. It wasn’t until the owner of Vizio told a story at his 50th birthday party that explained his wellness journey and how he now wanted to help others around him become fit and healthy. I approached him later with our services and he loved concept of The Whole Purpose, hired us and truly was the backing we needed to put The Whole Purpose on the map. I will forever be grateful to him.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I am a huge believer in learning from mistakes, I honestly can say I don’t have a story about my biggest mistake because every mistake has helped me grow. Taking mistakes and really looking at the outcome will help you to see what to change in the future. Ultimately, I believe in making mistakes because you can only grow from them!
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband. He was the one that encouraged me to leave corporate America and go after my dreams. I am truly thankful for his belief in me. This has been a hard journey and he has been a great supporter of not only me but the brand. There have been numerous times I have come home crying. My husband is not an emotional man, and for sure believes in tough love. So, when crying he reminds me to toughen up, always makes me see all sides of an issue and reminds me to look inward.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
When starting The Whole Purpose, my goal was to help people in corporate America find balance in the workplace between work and wellness. Bringing wellness to office allows people to break from work and take time to either focus on physical or mental health. The healthier employees are on both levels creates more productivity in the workplace and healthier employees, which equals fewer sick days. It truly is a win/win for employers and employees.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
1-Eat from mother nature. If your food comes from the earth then it was meant to be eaten. Simple as that.
2-Read your food labels. Ingredients are key. If you cannot pronounce an ingredient in the product put it back on the shelf.
3-Drink water! You should consume half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Drinking water is not only great for digestion, it keeps your skin clear, body weight down and improves your overall health.
4-Get moving! You need to be active every day. This doesn’t mean you have to do a hardcore work out each day, but it does mean to move your body. Whether you go for a walk, hike, take time to stretch or lift light weights, whatever you do to move is good for your body and will help keep you strong and healthy.
5- Be kind to yourself. Positive thinking truly is a game changer that is not only mindful but also good for mental health. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop and say something kind. Kindness is a true healer.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
We have an events division where we teach all types of mindful wellness approaches and purposeful communication techniques. At this point, we host our events at a community level. My goal is to take our wellness movement national to grow awareness throughout our country on easy, cost-effective ways to live healthy lives.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Be kind to yourself. Starting a new business is not easy and there will be ups and downs, so being kind to yourself during the downs is key to getting back up and pushing forward.
- Take time away from work. You do not have to eat, breath, sleep your brand. It is important to remember that you are your own person and your brand is separate. Combining the two can be personal sabotage because balance is important.
- Ask for help. Never feel that asking for help makes you weak or less knowledgeable. We all need so ask!
- Listen well. Often it is more important to listen in business then speak. You will learn more and make better decisions.
- It’s ok to say no. I often try to please everyone and by doing that I spread myself too thin. Say no if you can’t make something happen. Explain why and people will understand.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health is extremely important to me on a professional and personal level. The Whole Purpose focuses on teaching purposeful communication as a part of mental health while also teaching healthy ways of living that also support the importance of mental health as a part of overall wellness. On a personal level, in the past few years I have lost a family member and friend of our family to mental health issues. As you can imagine this has impacted our lives in a way that I can truly not find words, for and I am committed to support those who suffer from any type of depression or mental illness so that they know they are not alone and there is help out there.