Starting from Scratch: Building a Small Business in a New City

Meera Dahyabhai & Jay AcevesHerbalife Nutrition Independent Distributors

Starting your own business is never easy. Wherever you decide to start, it takes a lot of hard work, skill and dedication and even then, as in life, building a small business has its challenges and there are no guarantees.

But have you ever wondered what it would be like to start your own business in a completely new city?

For most people, that idea is just too daunting. Most people would rather just play it safe and start their business in a familiar locale. But for us, we saw the opportunity as a challenge and an adventure.


You see, both of us were born and raised in Los Angeles. We both came from big, nurturing families that loved to spend time together. So, you can just imagine the look on everyone’s faces when we told them we were uprooting ourselves from LA and opening a Nutrition Club in Chicago.

Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zone

As a couple doing the Herbalife Nutrition business together in our hometown, we combined our energy and purposes to build a thriving organization: we had regular customers, introduced our friends and family to the products, and were doing good. We felt comfortable, maybe a bit too much.

This is when we decided to try something new. While we certainly were happy with how our business was going, we had even greater goals and vision for our business, and knew we would be limited if stayed in our comfort zone. Because Herbalife Nutrition provides the unique flexibility to work where you want, we had the opportunity to pick and move to a new city.

Moving to Chicago and Opening a Nutrition Club

So, there we were – in a city where we knew no one, but we were also motivated by that same fact. It sounds paradoxical, but it’s really not. Hard times bring out your A-game. It was do or die, and we were determined to go big.

We settled in the Lake View East area and focused on becoming part of the community. We signed up as members of the local chamber of commerce, began going to networking events, reaching out to people through social media, and partnering with local gyms.

We also connected with many local business owners. We visited their shops, attended their events and so people started to get to know who we were before we actually opened our nutrition club.

For almost two years we went to all the community-based fitness events, did pop-up workouts, and just spent most of our time meeting people, connecting with them.

We used Instagram and Facebook to let people in our day-to-day life and invite them to exercise with us. We did posts like: “Hey, come join us we’re going to go out for a run on the lake!” or “Come train with us, we’re going to go play basketball at this gym”. You’d be amazed at how many folks are just waiting for an invitation like that to get jumpstarted on a healthier lifestyle.

Happily, we found that what we brought to the table – the possibility for a healthier, more active lifestyle, paired with good nutrition and community support – was very well received.

Chicago is a city renowned for its great food, but its population is increasingly becoming more health conscious.  People are minding what their put in their bodies and getting more active. We are just grateful to provide an option for people looking to be healthier.

A Passion for Helping People

We recently opened our nutrition club called “Rise Up Nutrition” and the turnout has been amazing. People understand that they don’t have to settle for anything and that the power to become the best version of themselves is in their hands.

Chicago has made us stronger as a couple, wiser as business owners, and more resilient, overall. This city changed us and we are forever grateful for that.

This has been a great adventure, and we are excited for what’s next to come. I see ourselves doing what we love for many more years to come. Through our business, we want to help people, impact our community and give back. And it doesn’t matter where we are in life or which city we live in! It is part of why we love Herbalife Nutrition – for us, our hard work and determination lead to a business that we were able to build in a new city.

Income depicted is unique to the individual and is not typical. Achievements require skill & consistent work. For typical earnings, see Statement of Average Gross Compensation at StartHerbalife.com.