Wellness care for adults with disabilities
“When I was 18 years old, my mom threw me into this job that I really didn’t want,” said 33-year-old Kelsey Joson. “It was my first experience really working with people with disabilities. What I found out in that job was that when you put effort into just getting to know somebody, people with disabilities are no different than people without disabilities,” she added.
“I started becoming really passionate about it. I got really attached to the people who were on my route,” she recalls. “When they were turning 21, I was like, ‘Okay, where are you guys going to go once you turn 21?’
“I kept asking questions and trying to get answers, to get myself to a place where, ‘Okay, they’re going to be taken care of,’” she continued. “I never reached a point where I’ve felt comfortable with what happened with them after they turned 21. It was in that moment that I was like, ‘Well, I need to do something about this,’ because my soul could not be at rest.”
“At 18, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she said. “I’ve always been passionate about health and wellness. So, I was asking questions just to see if there was a career for me and to find out what happened when they turned 21.”
In 2019, Joson launched InControl, a preventative wellness services company for adults with disabilities. But InControl wasn’t really up and running until 2021, after the pandemic.
“That was when I was like, this is what I’m going to do. And then I went to college and got the education that I needed.”
MSR: What does your business do for people with disabilities?
KJ: We provide in-home preventative wellness services. I have a team of coaches that go into our client’s home.
There’s physical wellness, nutrition, social wellness, and emotional wellness. And there’s a coach for each different pillar. The coaches go in and they educate first. They teach all of our clients why they’re doing what they’re doing, what they’re about to explore. And then throughout the rest of the month they give them the skills that they need to be able to build on.
It’s just helping them really understand and develop the skills to be as independently healthy as possible after a year.
MSR: How is your program different from others like it?
KJ: Every program that serves people with disabilities has a requirement for some wellness enrichment, but the requirements to actually live a healthy life is way beyond wellness enrichment curriculum.
Our program provides our clients with the services that actually get them closer to what the CDC recommends for living a healthy life.
There are a lot of wonderful programs out there that provide great nutrition classes or exercise classes or things like that. But they’re not frequent enough. They’re not accessible enough. And they’re not consistent enough. They don’t have the training to actually be able to work with people with disabilities.
Our program is specifically designed to work with people with disabilities. It’s consistent and it’s every month. You see our coaches about ten times per month and it’s intense. It’s designed to go anywhere.
MSR: How does your business impact the community?
KJ: We just started doing this thing every month where we have an InControl event because we recognize that the social piece was truly missing from a lot of our clients’ lives. We decided to add an event for our clients every month, where we go out into the community.
In addition to that, what I would love is to get our clients out working for these companies that we have partnerships with and be able to get them jobs.
MSR: What has been your biggest challenge in owning a business?
KJ: The biggest challenge in owning a business is navigating the growing pains. We have been growing, which is great. We have a lot of people that are reaching out that want our program, which is wonderful. But how do you really grow this business to be a sustainable business that can take on the demand that’s knocking on our door, in a way that’s smart and in a way that’s slow and steady. What does that look like?
I’m thankful that we’re growing, and I’d rather have growing pains than not. It’s figuring out how to grow and what and where you should lead the company, now that you have these opportunities knocking at your door. It’s deciphering what opportunities are good, which opportunity is great and which one you should go for.
MSR: What has been the most rewarding part of owning your business?
KJ: The most rewarding part of owning a business is waking up every single day and knowing that you’re doing what you are called to do and what you’re passionate about. That helps me get through the tough times knowing that not everybody is afforded the opportunity to completely fulfill their passion. I’m working 12 hours a day for something that I’m passionate about versus something I’m just doing because I need to do.
MSR: What’s your vision for your business?
KJ: We want to be the number one wellness provider for people with disabilities. We want to be able to partner with the existing programs that are already up and running and increase our impact and expand our reach by through partnerships.
We’ve never been a company that assumed that we could meet the needs of everyone. I know that we can’t. The way that we can actually meet the needs of everyone is by creating really amazing partnerships and calling on our partners to help us meet those needs.
MSR: What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
KJ: Surround yourself with a network of people who support you. It is probably the biggest thing you can do to be a successful entrepreneur, because community is so important. If you successfully build your network, you can potentially be one phone call away from anybody that can help you meet your need.
I think it’s foolish to be an entrepreneur and think you can do it by yourself. You need to have the resources around you to be able to get into rooms that you can’t get into by yourself.
You wear a million hats. You might put on your marketing hat, having never done a lick of marketing in your life. Why don’t you build a relationship with somebody who has devoted their career to marketing, instead of you trying to figure it out. Why don’t you call upon that relationship to help you be successful?
You can leverage those connections, your community, and your relationships to help you grow and be as successful as possible.
Entrepreneurship is lonely. And so creating that community of people around you who are going through the same things or have been through the same things is so important because otherwise you can really start to feel isolated.
For more information, visit the company website www.incontrolmn.com, or contact them at 8362 Tamarack Village, Suite #119, Woodbury, MN, 55125.