“When you become an ND, you are automatically an entrepreneur. That means you can start any business that interests you and nurture it into something that can make a real impact for others.”
Laying the groundwork to become an ND
Prior to pursuing naturopathic medicine, Dr. Habib completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto, with a double major in Life Sciences and Psychology. “I knew I wanted to be working in medicine so that I could do something meaningful and connect with people. I also wanted to implement improvements to the way healthcare was being provided to Canadians through the conventional medical system.” Naturopathic medicine seemed to bridge the gap.
Dr. Habib openly admits that at first, he didn’t know naturopathic medicine was the right path for him. “I jumped in without knowing what I was getting myself into, but it turned out to be a fantastic learning experience in an industry ripe with diverse business opportunities.”
CCNM as a springboard
Dr. Habib chose to pursue his naturopathic medical education at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine because of its location in Toronto, where he lives. He also saw that CCNM was the largest naturopathic institution in Canada and thus would include a high-quality curriculum.
“My experience at CCNM was pivotal to my development into a professional, as well as helping me becoming a better version of myself. In hindsight, the ability to complete such a meaningful stepping stone in my education was a huge personal achievement.” Dr. Habib found that the immense amount of learning was motivating and provided an ongoing source of intellectual stimulation.
“Living the dream” after graduation
“Planning for success is difficult when you don’t know what you don’t know. We all try our best. I typically think I want something, go and try to achieve it, only to leave me wanting more when I succeed. I’m on a path of continual self-discovery.” After graduation, Dr. Habib became the first naturopathic research resident in Canada, working at CCNM. He wanted to be a teacher and went on to become an academic instructor and clinic supervisor.
After completing his residency, Dr. Habib discovered his love of business. “Aside from teaching, I opened a clinic, worked for a naturopathic publication, built online courses, saw patients in private practice, started an herb company, bought and sold various businesses, I couldn’t get enough!” Dr. Habib currently spends most of his time as the CFO of the herb company he founded, Perfect Herbs. What started as a side hustle has grown and developed into a fulfilling full-time role, in which he happily serves the naturopathic community.
Finding fulfillment as an ND
Dr. Habib loves the diversity of career options in naturopathic medicine. “When you become an ND, you are automatically an entrepreneur. That means you can start any business that interests you and nurture it into something that can make a real impact for others.” Dr. Habib found that private practice was rewarding, but not ideally suited for his skills. He wanted to help others on a larger scale, which is why he runs companies that help optimize the work and lives of other NDs.
The flexibility of naturopathic medicine allows Dr. Habib to work remotely. He’s able to manage his business on his preferred schedule and has also developed passive business income streams so that he can generate revenue even when he’s not directly putting in hours. It took a lot of work, and a lot of trial and error to get to where he is now.
Advice for aspiring NDs
“My advice to prospective students has changed over the years as I’ve had the opportunity to connect with so many graduates through my work. Here’s what I’ve found: Those who work hard will be successful no matter what they do and those who love their work will be successful no matter what they do. So, my largest piece of advice is to first realize that you will be an entrepreneur and second that you need to have one of those things going for you.”
Dr. Habib encourages prospective students to spend time exploring what they might like doing for work, or to shadow NDs to find out what the day-to-day is like. “The more you can find out about what you’re getting into, the more you can be sure it’s right for you. I wish you the utmost success in your journey.”
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