I recommend hiring a personal life coach. I have had a few over the years and it goes without saying it’s important to have someone on the outside looking at your habits. They can take a holistic look at your hang-ups and mentor you to a better and more fulfilled life. The right coach is worth every dollar spent. They help you overcome years of wrong habits and grow you into a healthier, happier, freer version of yourself.
As part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Julie Steinhauer.
Dr. Steinhauer is a developmental optometrist specializing in vision-related learning problems, sports vision, and rehabilitative optometry, and the owner and operator of Vision For Life in Edwardsville, IL. Vision For Life opened its doors in 2012. Dr. Steinhauer had previously owned and operated Jersey Family Vision Care in Jerseyville, IL for 9 years. She is board certified in vision development as a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision and is a member of the Illinois Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Optometric Extension Program, Parents Active for Vision Enhancement, the College of Syntonic Optometry, and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association. In her spare time, Dr. Steinhauer enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, playing cards, traveling, baking, decorating, and spending time with her two children, Emma and Ethan. https://visionforlifeworks.com
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?
Ialways wanted to be a pediatrician and discovered that I was spending a tremendous amount of time studying in school. Perhaps more so than others. Soon I realized I had a vision problem. So, instead of pediatrics, I chose to go to optometry school to help others who had similar problems. In my fourth year, I decided to focus on functional vision, developmental vision, and rehabilitative vision. I opened my first clinic in 2003. The clinic was more general in its offerings but also included some functional vision services. In 2012 I closed that clinic and opened Vision For Life. Vision For Life focuses solely on functional vision, developmental vision, and rehabilitative vision. It has been a success and we attract clients from all over the United States.
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?
I learned that people will go to any lengths to get their vision restored. Some will drive or fly hundreds if not thousands of miles. Though our office is in Illinois, near St. Louis, we had a family drive their son from New Jersey to seek out our specialized treatment. The boy was suffering from a brain tumor that affected most of his cranial nerves. He had even seen a doctor in New Jersey the day before. That doctor completely wrote him off and said that nothing could be done. However, that doctor didn’t even bother to test him for binocular or two-eyed vision. This is the ability to maintain visual focus on an object with both eyes, creating a single visual image. Adults and kids without binocular vision experience distortions in-depth perception and visual measurement of distance. When we tested him, we learned he actually does have a binocular vision which is very treatable.
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?
The biggest mistake I made was to take things too personally. Initially, when people said they did not want or need our service I got upset. I learned that although we provide the best vision services available not everyone really wants to get better. Many are happy to maintain their status quo. I learned to live with the idea that not everyone really wants to improve their vision, even when they can.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have several mentors who have helped me along the way. Too many to mention but I have gotten so much support from a number of professionals on everything from how to run an optometric business, how to maximize profitability, how to market your practice and much more.
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?
First, through our practice and social media, we are bringing global awareness to vision problems and what can be done to fix them. Secondly, we offer solutions and hope to people who thought they would never see properly again. Thirdly, we are consulting with other eye professionals worldwide to help them bring solutions and hope to their patients. Finally, we are helping individuals improve and/or restore their vision, a “gift” that will last a lifetime.
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.
First, I think it is important to take care of your body and reward yourself for your hard work. This helps restore your body from a rundown or depleted state to one that is reenergized. A few years ago I began getting a massage every month. Then I started going twice monthly. I also treat myself to manicures and pedicures as well as spa treatments. It makes a big difference and gets me back on track.
The second is to eat healthily. It is a key element of wellbeing. It’s important to feed your body right to support your health. About 10 years ago I developed some food sensitivities and had to learn how to eat correctly. I eliminated a number of foods and added others. It has made a big impact.
Thirdly I believe in chiropractic and supplemental care. It is important to support your body with the healthy alignment of the spine, particularly to help with your vision but for just overall total body health. I advise also to take the right supplements to support your health. It helps to detoxify your body from the toxins we are exposed to daily. This is imperative.
Fourth is exercise. One needs to move their body, even if it’s just walking 4–5 days a week. Movement is so important it helps with joints, helps the heart and all organs, and is important for overall mental health and well-being.
Finally, I recommend hiring a personal life coach. I have had a few over the years and it goes without saying it’s important to have someone on the outside looking at your habits. They can take a holistic look at your hang-ups and mentor you to a better and more fulfilled life. The right coach is worth every dollar spent. They help you overcome years of wrong habits and grow you into a healthier, happier, freer version of yourself.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I don’t have anything specific but it would be an initiative that helps people worldwide improve their vision. Every day I see the difference it can make in someone’s life.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
First, I wish I had gotten a degree in business. In optometry school, they teach how to work with patients and be a successful optometrist but there is little taught on how to build and maintain a profitable practice. Some intense business background would have been extremely helpful.
Secondly, it would have been good to know about how to establish a working line of credit. Some insight into finance would have helped.
Third, learning how to manage payables and receivables would have helped to keep cash inflows and outflows in balance. As a new business owner, it is easy to spend heavily on items you anticipate needing without having the cash flow to cover it.
Marketing your practice is so important I wish someone had told me about the proper ways to market and advertise your business. It took a lot of trial and error before we found the right combination that has driven us to success.
Finally, I wish someone would have told me how difficult it really is to own and operate your own business. It has been challenging at times but, at the end of the day, highly rewarding.
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 something I am passionate about. Last year we watched my mom struggle with depression after losing two of her brothers. It has been a journey to get her well again. I see so many patients with what they believe is no hope. Many beg for help and say they have thought about suicide because people make fun of their eyes. It’s so important for people to see their value and worth. They need to realize they have gifts and talents that the world needs.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
People can email me at [email protected]
Go to our website- https://visionforlifeworks.com