We caught up with nutritionist, professor and founder of Colombian brand Move Nutrition, Alexandra Pérez-Idárraga. We delved into how she overcomes obstacles and enjoys success, along with her top five entrepreneurial lessons.
Together, we also look at what startups and established businesses struggling amid Covid-19 can do to make their business goals a reality.
Over to Alexandra…
A Bit About the Founder, Alexandra Pérez-Idárraga
My favourite things to do when I’m not working are to exercise, take time to relax and read books on a variety of topics that are different to my job. I enjoy walking in nature and sharing conversations with people as we walk.
I also like to travel, go to the cinema and to the gym. Another love of mine is to visit new restaurants to taste new dishes. I miss that.
About the Business, Move Nutrition
Our purpose is to make people smile more, eat better, be more active, and to boost their mind and spirit.
Move Nutrition offers products and services that carry the motto of body, mind and spirit in motion. Along with providing nutrition consultations, we give talks at academic events, formative institutions and private companies.
Food and exercise are made to heal and improve performance, mood and wellbeing – not to generate suffering.
Why did you set up Move Nutrition? What were you looking to do both on an entrepreneurial and personal level with running your own business?
I set Move Nutrition up because, inside of me, I feel that nutrition is more than food. I have found, throughout my life, joy from helping people in a way that goes beyond gaining or losing weight, or improving sports performance.
I discovered that my mission and personal purpose were linked with the mental and spiritual areas that are impacted by nutrition too, rather than considering these as separate from the body. I think we have made everything more complex and this has led us to think that everything is separate.
In commercial terms, I would like to grow; integrate more professional people who also resonate with this mission and our values; form alliances with other people, brands and companies; share a freedom message to the world outlining how food and exercise help you to be happier and ease suffering. I’d also like to grow economically to fulfil dreams and personal goals while helping others.
What do you remember about those early days and how have things changed for you since its inception?
The first days consisted of jumping into the void, leaving the security of a job and a clear path, but with an internal certainty that it was the right path. There were situations of a complex nature, of an insecure one too; but little by little, everything was consolidated.
At first, I saw many people who did not even motivate me that much, but over time, I learned to attract incredibly beautiful people to the space that, today, is Move Nutrition.
Initially, I didn’t think it was necessary to make people aware of what I was doing and Move Nutrition. And that whoever came to the business was a potential client. Over time, I learned to better convey the essence of the brand. This has led me to attract people and companies that connect with the part of nutrition for exercise, sports, health and wellbeing, but from an integral vision.
Today, I am ready to take the next step towards growth. To do this, I know it is important that others know what I do in order to move forward and that this recognition has a greater purpose than personal glory.
What/Who has helped you along the way continue to grow and evolve?
My family and friends have been supportive. Doctor and friend, Katerina Valencia, who I started the practice with has been there in both the good and not so good moments. The people who visit us and recommend us are also brilliant.
I can’t forget the brands and companies that support us too, especially DBSS International, led by Diego Bonilla, who is also part of Jorge Mario Vélez from Arthros physiotherapy. With each person or company I meet and work with, I have a deep sense of gratitude.
Do you have ‘mindset musts’ that you swear by?
Definitely. The main one is to pause when I feel like I am doing so many things that I lose my bearings. Another key one is to organize my days to make sure I get things done.
I like to pray in a very spontaneous way during the day. I also listen to audio that delivers messages that help me grow, stay calm and transform my thinking, especially when I feel overwhelmed or out of focus. I seek advice and support from people who have a wide breadth of experience. I ask God which the right path is and I seek to walk on it.
I have to be honest, I have moments when I would not like to make an effort. For example, I know that visibility in my networks is important and I have seasons of stillness. I have moments when I do not want to advance or grow, but I’ve learned not to fight with that and simply pause to resume with more energy and keep the vision steady.
How do you cope with and overcome barriers? Are there any that really stand out?
First, I find calm within the situation, evaluate the alternative solutions, seek help, advice, or support, and then proceed.
Sometimes I just wait for the result, concentrating on the areas that are in my control and foreseeable future. I know that sometimes I get distressed, but over time I have been able to let go quicker and persevere.
Some things are still difficult for me today, but I learn from each person and experience. Exercising, eating well, resting, praying, and refocusing helps me reestablish my confidence in myself, in the process – and that everything that I genuinely need or dream and feel deeply will come.
What do you define as success for you and how do you celebrate it? Are there any standout moments?
For me, success consists of achieving what you dream of without losing yourself. It’s about reaching high places to be able to see the panorama more clearly, and from there, help others. Success is also feeling content with what I do, to transform the lives of others into something positive, and to see smiles.
In summary, success consists of feeling that what you do in life serves more than your own glory; that the path you chose has a meaning beyond your own life and that with this, inevitably, opportunities and blessings rain down. Success brings a lot, but for me, these rewards are only the consequence of doing things well, with love, professionalism, honesty and respect.
What are the top lessons that you have learnt as an entrepreneur?
- To achieve it, you first have to try.
- Nothing is perfect for everyone.
- Trust your way and persevere in it, but do not hold on to everything – perhaps there is another better route to reach unexpected places.
- You have something that the world needs – do not waste time being what you are not to please others, even to grow your business. Being genuine attracts and keeps the right people.
- Dream high, believe and act.
What are your top tips for anyone dreaming on setting up their own venture, struggling with getting it off the ground, or equally, are in it, but finding it hard (particularly amid COVID-19)?
- Really think about what your true motivation is and work around that.
- Find out what you are good at and what makes you special. Do not fight with your true essence.
- Do not be afraid to shine, the light cannot be hidden.
- Seek support.
- Remember that circumstances can change from one moment to the next. Access available opportunities as they do disappear.