PHOTO CREDIT: MATTHEW LOMMANO
Meet Kelly Diamond, a driven entrepreneur who helps her clients feel more comfortable in their bodies through the holistic process of Rolfing. While in pursuit of her lifelong dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer, Kelly’s career path began to shift when she was introduced to Rolfing. Keep reading to discover what inspired this ballerina to hang up her ballet slippers and become a Certified Advanced Rolfer™ as well as learning her tips for delegating, setting boundaries, and staying focused.
Tell us about Kelly Diamond Certified Rolfer LLC.
As a Certified Advanced Rolfer™, I help people feel more comfortable in their bodies. Rolfing® Structural Integration restores postural balance and functional ease by systematically aligning and integrating the human body in gravity. The work includes hands-on mobilization of the connective tissue matrix, enhancement of the client’s awareness, and education.
The holistic and goal-oriented process of Rolfing visibly changes people’s posture over time. When one becomes organized in gravity they often experience- better balance, increased flexibility, less tension, increased body awareness, shorter recovery time from injury and improved athletic performance.
The Early Days
Describe your childhood in one word.
Describe your childhood personality in one word.
When you were a little girl what career did you dream of having “when you grow up”?
What was your first job?
The Learning Years
Where did you attend college?
I attended one year of college at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. At the end of my freshman year, I accepted an apprenticeship with a ballet company in NYC and deferred from school. It was a difficult decision; however, I knew that I had to seize the opportunity to fulfill my lifelong dream of dancing professionally. School would be there for me when I was ready to return.
What was your first job out of college?
My first job out of college was as a ballet dancer.
List your jobs until you started your own business.
I danced professionally and taught ballet until I attended the Rolf® Institute of Structural Integration. After graduating in 2013, I started my current business.
The Entrepreneurial Years
What year did you decide to start your own business?
I started my business in 2013 after graduating from the Rolf® Institute.
Why did you decide you wanted to start your own business?
The first time I experienced Rolfing the results resonated so deeply in my body that I knew this work would forever be a part of my life in some capacity. At the time, I was still focused on my career as a dancer and did not have the desire to become a Rolfer. However, as I continued to receive the work and think seriously about a plan B (you can’t do ballet forever!) I decided to attend training and explore what being a Rolfer might be like. Basic training surpassed my expectations and I quickly fell in love with the field. Upon graduation, I decided to start my business because I felt so strongly about Rolfing and the benefits that it could provide to people in need.
There are currently less than 10 Certified Rolfers in New Hampshire and zero practicing in Concord at the time I started (and still!), so I felt there was a need waiting to be filled.
How is your business different today than when you first started?
My business is drastically different today than when I first started. In a little over 5 years, I have gone from seeing 2-5 clients a week to my capacity of 15-20. I am blessed with wonderful clients whom I learn from every day. Every person is different so I am constantly challenged and stimulated to learn more so that I can help them to the best of my ability. My curious mind loves being in the classroom. Since my basic training, I have also completed my Rolf Movement Training, Craniosacral Certification, and Advanced Rolfing Training. I look forward to my next pursuit!
What three lessons have you learned running your own business?
- To set and respect my boundaries- As my schedule has filled up it is all too easy to try to squeeze another client in. When I do this I feel overextended and tired- which serves neither of us. Respecting my boundaries and not over giving feels better in my body and mind and ultimately better serves my clients.
- Make continuing education a priority- This isn’t a tough one for me to implement as I love being in the classroom. However, it is a necessary reminder when life gets busy. When I am in the classroom, surrounded by my wonderful Rolfing community, my love for the work is refueled and my clients benefit from the inspiration boost.
- I don’t have to wear all the hats- Being a bit of a perfectionist, in the beginning, I felt a personal pressure to manage all aspects of my business. However, I learned that I am a Rolfer- not a website designer, accountant or marketing guru. Thankfully now I have a team of trusted professionals that can offer support in these other aspects of running a business and I am more than happy to delegate to them!
What’s next for your business? Top 3 goals.
- To teach Rolf Movement based group classes to the community and cultivate a unique curriculum through this exploration.
- To join the Rolf Movement Faculty at the Rolf Institute and have the opportunity to travel the world and teach other bodyworkers/somatic practitioners.
- To take a vacation more often!
What’s your strongest skill set that’s helped you succeed?
If you have ever met a ballet dancer, you might have noticed that tend to be extremely driven, passionate and focused individuals. I cultivated these skills at a very young age and they have helped shaped me and ultimately my business into what it is today. When I choose to do something, I do it all the way to the best that I can. I don’t put my energy into something that doesn’t feel deeply right to me.
On this journey, who have been your three most supportive people?
- My mother- she has always been my biggest cheerleader with every venture I have taken she has been right beside me encouraging me and offering support. There is no way I would who I am today without her.
- My Rolfer and colleague, Ellen- she mentored me during my basic training, assisted my Advanced Training and continues to encourage me to join the faculty at the Rolf Institute in the future. Her wisdom, kindness, and confidence in me has been a huge resource.
- My best friend, Caili- Caili and I danced professionally together for several years. We have been through many of life’s ups and downs- new jobs, moving, difficult breakups, etc. Although we currently live states apart- I know that she is always there for me. She makes me laugh when I am struggling and wholeheartedly celebrates me in my achievements. She is an amazingly talented and lovely person that I feel incredibly fortunate to have in my life.
The Bumps in the Road
Have you had any hardships or setbacks in your business or personal life?
When thinking about the bumps in the road in regards to my practice- I feel fortunate that I have not been dealt any major hardships to this date. The biggest hurdles I had to overcome were in the early stages of my practice. Just like any new business- it took some time to become established.
How did you overcome them – did they make you stronger or learn something new?
When I started in Concord, there were very few people who knew that Rolfing Structural Integration even existed. As an introvert, it was challenging for me to network and reach people. As a new Rolfer, I lacked confidence in my work. My schedule was slow for the first two years. However, I eventually found my networking niche and attended several continuing education classes early on that boosted confidence in my skills. As my roots in the community deepened and confidence in myself increased- my business grew significantly.
All About You
Did you always dream of owning your own business or was it a surprise on your career path?
Owning my own practice was a surprise on my career path. When I graduated from the Rolf Institute I literally knew nothing about running a business. However, I was committed to figuring it out, and now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am 100% confident that this is what I am meant to be doing with my life.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
My hobbies outside of work are yoga, dancing, hiking, visiting museums, seeing live performances, cooking paleo, adventuring with my two dogs, and spending time with loved ones.
Describe your career path to-date in one word?
Hands for Heroes
Age you’d like to retire at?
I truly love what I do, so I do not see myself retiring at any specific age.
Travel location on your bucket list?
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Introvert or Extrovert?
Night owl or early bird?
Reformed night owl
Favorite business book?
The Educated Heart
Favorite business tool?
My online scheduling system- Fullslate. I’d be completely lost without it.
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