Trish O’Hara, is mummy of a beautiful 5 year old girl and comes from Derry.
I asked her how she got into business and she said,
“After finishing my degree in traditional acupuncture & Western Bio Medicine. I co-founded the Portobello Acupuncture Project with a good friend in Notting Hill, London. We had literally no money, only 100% determination and some really great friends who supported us. We were based in a National Lottery funded community centre called the Tabernacle, which runs amazing events such as the Notting Hill Carnival, musical and drama theatre and the arts. After graduation, I was really taken by this new concept of community acupuncture. Basically this involves one large space, with several treatment beds or chairs and two or more acupuncturists. The idea is to reduce overhead costs and pass those saving onto to your clients by offering low cost treatments. Treating people at the same time in the same place, is traditionally how acupuncture is offered in China/Asia. In the beginning it was such a fight to convince the management team at the Tabernacle. I’m sure they give in because they couldn’t take anymore from this Northern Irish woman, who wouldn’t take no for an answer. We were told that Notting Hill was too affluent and wealthy to entertain a little project such as ours. Three months later: we had a six week waiting list, making more money in just one day that we could ever of done working independently, our project became a teaching clinic for acupuncture students and I was offered a position with Westminster City Council as part of their Occupational Health Team because of the success of the project.”
I asked Trish what was her biggest struggle in her business and she said “Admitting that I need help and being able to ask for help. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyscalculia (difficulty in recognizing number sequences – dates, clock time), which is quite amusing in itself since I chose a numerical points based medicine as my profession. I thank acupuncture, for keeping me grounded and focused during my degree but some aspects of studying plus the administration side of business was very difficult. Mainly because I created some elaborate and amazing coping skills, so I wouldn’t need to ask for help. These coping skills allowed me to hide my conditions but it was detrimental to my confidence and well being. When I finally asked for help, a whole world opened up to me and I learned new ways to actively assist myself with book keeping and administration tasks (the world will not end if you need to delegate tasks). I was finally able to drop the shame about my conditions, embrace a new and easier way to do business and meet some other really successful people who just happen to have either ADHD, Autism, Dyscalculia and/or Dyslexia.”
Trish says the illness can be isolating and frightening. Her clients met each other as strangers at the community acupuncture clinic in London and a lot of her regular client became friends with each other. She loves to see people establish relationships independent of the clinic, through a shared story of overcoming illness. She says, “I am most proud that I helped facilitate those relationships.”
To relax, Trish loves to have an acupuncture session, snuggle with her little one and catching up with friends. Trish now works and lives in Belfast. Please check out the Belfast Acupuncture Loft
Tel: 07525 419320