Veteran Entrepreneur: Dr. Anna Petry D.C.

Written by: Brady Drake

Photo by Hilary Ehlen

Balance Restored Chiropractic (March 2017)

“I try to run my business with the belief the human body works, moves, and functions as a whole and should be treated as one. Yes, I find skeletal misalignments and adjust them.  However, I also look for the root cause of the misalignment to determine if there are tight muscles, poor posture or past injuries that are contributing factors. I take my time with my patients, treating not only their misalignments but also addressing soft tissue issues with various therapies and muscle work. This extra time allows me to better educate patients; providing long-term knowledge of their own body and giving them the tools and exercises they can do outside of the office visit for lasting benefits.”    -Anna Petry

Branch: Army National Guard

Years Served: 8

First Job After Service: Education! I was only 17 when I joined the National Guard and deployed at 19. When I got back from deployment my primary focus was to complete my undergraduate and chiropractic schooling. I maintained my active status in the Guard and worked a few part-time jobs until I finished school.  After graduation, I was given the opportunity to work for a chiropractor in New Zealand for almost two years.

Did you use military benefits used when starting Balance Restored Chiropractic?

Unfortunately, no. I wasn’t aware of the benefits that were available at the time and probably didn’t do as much research as I should have. I do believe companies and communities are now more aggressively promoting benefits that are available to veterans.

Military skill most used in business: 

Dedication and commitment.  It’s fair to say that not everything in the military is fun or what you want to do.  However, it was my choice to join and I learned that following through and showing up, even when things are difficult, are valuable traits.  Starting a business is not easy but having this mindset has helped me with the hard days and appreciate the good days.

What changed that made you want to start a business?

I was still in high school when I entered the military and the thought of having my own business didn’t even seem like an option at that time.  However, the military did provide me with a sense of independence and the desire to learn/try something new.  I was good at my communications job while deployed but it didn’t hold any passion or drive for me. So, it motivated me to examine my interests and research options and opportunities of where I would want my career path to go. The decision to open my own business evolved from this research and also learning to trust myself.

What words of encouragement do you have for fellow veteran entrepreneurs?

Go for it, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Initially, I had difficulty with this; I thought I needed to do it all on my own or I may look weak. I now know reaching out for help is a smart business move. Starting a business can be overwhelming with a lot of over-thinking, uncertainties and challenges.  Asking for guidance can keep you focused on your business development and find a support system to rely on.  

Many veterans struggle with finding a sense of purpose when reintegrating into the civilian world. How can getting involved in the business community help with that reintegration process?

The military provides a strong sense of belonging and structure. After leaving the military it can be unsettling to find who you are “on your own”. I have found it beneficial to be part of local networking groups which offers a real sense of connection.  This connection allows you to learn about other businesses, events, and causes in the community that potentially lead you to other opportunities and connections.
I have also been fortunate to find a mentor within the chiropractic field. Being able to discuss my goals, strategize setbacks and celebrate successes with another person in the same business has proven to be invaluable.

Read about our other veteran entrepreneurs:

Troy Derheim

Julie Saatoff

Anna Petry

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.