“It is such a wild and sometimes crazy, difficult, and even painful journey. But it is so sweet. And we are so grateful.”
Jeff and Anna Hunter, owners at Upstream Functional Medicine, started their crazy, sweet journey with FPC over five years ago. Since then, they have become highly involved in the elite mastermind group, are among the most successful within the community, and have established themselves as well-known leaders in the functional medicine sphere. When they started, they had the same hope of freedom that all newcomers have; they faced the same type of fears and uncertainty and had to overcome the same types of challenges. Their journey began in November of 2017.
Without any savings or substantial income, both Jeff and Anna quit their full-time jobs to start their practice and became relentless in their effort to build a successful business. They worked six days a week for the first three years and for months Jeffs days would start at 4 a.m. Through it all, they closely stuck to the advice of the FPC coaching team.
“We had one day off a week and outside of that, we worked,” Anna said. “That one day was really important for us so we used it wisely because we knew the other six days were going to be really intense.”
“I wasn’t going to sacrifice time with my family,” said Jeff. “So, we just brought them along for a lot of it. Both of our girls have been to FPC Quarterly’s. It was a great experience for them, and they loved it.”
“We still spent time together,” Anna interjected. “But it was preparing for dinner talks as a family, and reviewing resumes, and painting the office. We brought the kids with us because it’s what needed to happen.”
In April of 2020 when the Hunters were six months shy of graduating from FPC’s 3-year program, Jeff was featured on the cover of Hope For Health and the article talked about how they built their business from scratch and had gone from zero to $800 thousand annually. Jeffs story touched on having the right mindset and following the instructions but did not adequately emphasize a key attribute that’s required to truly succeed at anything; a trait that Anna describes as “grit.”
“Jeff was going to do whatever he had to, to make it work. There was no other option. Neither one of us wanted to do a presentation every week but it’s what we were supposed to do, so we did it. It was a lot of grit and determination.”
“Growing up my worst fear was speaking in front of people,” Jeff said. “Nothing about me is built for that. If I was put on stage, I could hardly speak.”
“He would freeze up,” Anna said.
“It’s an area of real weakness for me,” Jeff added. “I didn’t like having to do weekly presentations; but it’s what I had to do to get where I’m trying to go so, I wasn’t going to resist it. I was going to learn how to do it and I was going to get good at it.”
By the time they hit their 3-year mark, the Hunters had put in years of hard work and had successfully maneuvered through the challenges that came from building a sustainable practice. They learned how to accept rejection, they had opened credit cards to float the business, they ended talks that resulted in zero closed, and they consistently rumbled with feelings of overwhelm.
“Every three months we’d show up at quarterly and I would hear all these things that we needed to do, and I would just feel like, ‘how the heck am I ever going to do this?’ And I would go find a porch and just cry,” Anna said.
“She would cry at every quarterly,” Jeff added.
“There was fear and uncertainty,” Anna continued. “And I would just feel the weight of everything so I’d try and go off alone to cry, but a friend would always find me, and they’d just sit with me. That comradery was such a gift.”
Jeff described the connections that he and Anna made within the FPC community as “critical” to staying on course.
“It’s easy to get discouraged when you have two or three negative experiences in a week. So, just having somebody to talk to that can relate, and hearing them say ‘oh man, that’s hard.’ We never felt like we were alone.”
At the end of 2020, Jeff and Anna became official FPC graduates and were witnessing their goal of having a referral-based practice reach fruition. By that point, they had learned enough to continue on their own but decided that their graduation would serve as a mile marker in their journey, not their finish line.
“We had some major perspective shifts when we joined the FPC Mastermind,” Jeff said. We set three-, five-, and 10-year goals and started asking ourselves what we really wanted in life and thought about how we could make the business work for us in order to get there. We re-framed everything.”
The Hunters, now in their fifth year with FPC, are still having record months and seeing a steady 30 percent increase in their yearly revenue. They are currently hitting about $2 million annually and believe that the challenges do not dissipate, they just shift as past goals are met and new goals get outlined. Last summer they bought a house and five acres of land in Colorado and this summer they are taking the entire month of July off to travel. “We are sitting at our kitchen counter in our home surrounded by trees and there is a breeze outside. We are in absolute beauty. It’s gorgeous. And it’s because of our business and FPC and how far we’ve come, and we are so grateful. So, so grateful.”