Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our EDTP Graduate- Meet Dr. Dotty Atkins, ThD, BSN, LMT

Posted on 7/16/2019 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News
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Dr. Dotty Atkins is the owner and operator of Holos Touch, LLC, which focuses on individual self-care education and advanced muscle therapy as well as group classes for those with any type of chronic joint pain (TMJ, sciatica, neck, back, shoulder, hips, knees or ankles. She is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with Dr. Atkins to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

 I always think about the word entrepreneur as resembling change and helping people along with being the change that they want to see in the world. I always had trouble throughout life where people saw in me something that I did not see in myself. After I had my first massage, I realized the power of touch. Someone I had worked on for his pain, took and completed the LAEDA course and suggested that I take this program and get my own place. I thought- if someone see's in me what I need then I should follow the path. LAEDA fit the knowledge and needs that I needed to open and run a small business as an entrepreneur.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

Someone saw in me what I didn’t see in myself and I wanted to help people one-on- one as supposed to teaching in a group. I really wanted to help those in pain, help them to recover and feel better. The power of touch is exactly what people need.

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

My experience was seeing so many wonderful and enthusiastic people in the classes and seeing so many different entrepreneurs starting so many different businesses. In addition, the wonderful business instructors, who were already in the profession, shared their experiences, knowledge and expertise. My “Ah-ha” moment was learning about the census bureau because it helped with deciding where to locate my business, choosing what methods and different styles I should use to market to potential customers, finding my target audience, and getting resources about marketing. There were a lot of different aspects to use and learn from on how to run your business successfully. I saved all of my resources that I got from LAEDA- I saved all of the handouts and always reviewed them. If I was ever stuck or had a question, I just picked up the phone and LAEDA was there to help me. LAEDA always had opportunities to network and bring people together to support and help one another.

(4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

One of my challenges was learning how to define the market and selecting places to market my business. I spend so much money marketing the traditional way (i.e. newspapers, supermarket and magazines ads); but, this was a good lesson to learn how to reach people and make potential clients. Another challenge was managing cash flow- How much money does it take to run an office with all the different aspects involved in running it? This question opens gates to many different business aspects that an entrepreneur should be ready for emotionally and financially. Moreover, I also faced the challenge of thinking that I was going to hire people to work with me; but, that did not work because there was so much paperwork involved and I didn’t have the money to advertise to get employees in my office.

Some of my successes were that I started teaching myself self-care classes and I started teaching clients about their bodies so that way it helped them not to have too much pain. I started teaching them how to better care for themselves starting from the simple point of choosing the proper pillow or mattress. Moreover, I also was able to redirect my business to the online platform so that way I can reach and help more people. I did a lot of research on my business and used it for publication in international and national magazines and online because this not only validated my techniques but also caused more people to reach out to me. Product research is essential and valuable- no business can open, run, or last without this aspect.  

Some of my failures were I couldn’t hire more staff to expand my office. However, in the long run this worked out for the type of business I wanted to see myself working in and it worked out for the type of entrepreneurial journey I was looking for as well. After all, failures are just opportunities in disguise- it just depends on how the entrepreneur looks at it and what actions he or she takes.

 (5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

Today I have started teaching larger groups (i.e. church groups, rotary clubs, etc.). Also, I teach men and women who work because often they all have aches and pain. I do a lot of teaching to groups of people on how to relieve their muscles and really take care of their bodies to release that pain away from their body. Although it meant four years of learning about the Internet, taking classes, and doing research, I am finally getting my self-care classes online. Through it all, I never gave up on my passion- on my business or myself. Currently, I am running the business by myself and I am teaching the world to reduce their own pain and reduce the amount of medicines they need to take in order to handle that pain. I did a lot of personal development because you have to grow with your business- really study it, do research, and bring your knowledge, experiences and skills to the table.

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

(1) Believe in yourself and develop your passion; (2) Do your research; (3) Keep your eyes open and welcome the competition because it helps you to step up, be creative, and think bigger; and (4) Grow with your business- self development is important

My favorite quote by Maya Angelou that I wanted to share is: “People may forget what you said, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.” 

Congratulations to Dr. Dotty Atkins for having over 25 years of experience as a nurse, teacher, licensed massage therapist and researcher. She has been certified as a manual lymphatic drainage therapist and has studied over 20 advanced massage, muscle and energy techniques. Dr. Atkins’ exceptional teaching skills have led her to teach various courses at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies since it’s beginning in 1992. Also as a board officer in the NJ chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) she has been recognized for her outstanding work as chairperson of the organization’s committee for education.  Additionally, her doctoral dissertation on the “The Effects of Self-massage on Osteoarthritis of the Knee” proved that self-massage significantly decreases knee pain and increases knee mobility. This revolutionary research on self-care pain relieving techniques’ was published in three national and international magazines. Congratulations to Dr. Atkins for completing EDTP and recommitting to her journey on the path of entrepreneurship. For more information, contact Dr. Atkins via website at http://holostouch.com/, via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/holostouch/?epa=SEARCH_BOXand/ or via through phone at (856) 547-7500.

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com.