The Side Project

By Ebony Willis 10 months agoNo Comments
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An interview series, focusing on global “outside of the box” thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs

 SIDE PROJECTS, they keep us energised, focused and inspired and often become the catalyst for creating something bigger for ourselves.
Sometimes spun from a passing thought or one brewed over time, a hobby can quickly become something to build a career on.  On the Side Project, we shine a light on those pursuing their passion and hustling to break the nine to five mold.  The hope?  To captivate, inspire and connect.



“I really wanted to create a space where people could feel better about themselves in a caring, nurturing, non-showy environment.”


What did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up, we used to travel a lot, and I always loved road houses, so at one point in my younger years I wanted to be a truck driver when I grew up. From a kids point of view, it looked like a job with so much freedom! As a teenager, I got right into drawing and designing gowns and I was seriously considering a career in fashion design.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a town an hour north of the Victorian and NSW Border called Yerong Creek in NSW. It had a population of about 150 people.

Where do you live now?

Right now I live in the suburbs of Brisbane’s South in Loganholme Queensland.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from Business owners, entrepreneurs, people who just have that ‘lets do this’ attitude, people who are not afraid of change in their life.

How did your Side Project come about?

My side project had been brewing inside me for some time. I was plotting along being a Personal trainer and I thought that I would be happy to do that for the rest of my life, but my creative side was just itching to get into a big project. It was all I could think about, it consumed me for months. I really wanted to create a space where people could feel better about themselves in a caring, nurturing, non-showy environment. So I set out to create Wellwood Health.

What stage is your Side Project in?

Wellwood Health is still in the Startup stage.

What’s your day job/what was your day job?

My day job was a personal trainer. I worked for myself within my home studio and I also had contracts training corporate companies.

How do you balance the nine-to-five with your Side Project?

My side project and my day job merged themselves together as soon as I opened the doors to Wellwood Health. About 12 months in I let go of my corporate clients. This was due to a few reasons, I didn’t enjoy it and it kept pulling me away from the main goal. Although I was relieved to let them go, it wasn’t easy, it was like letting go of a security blanket. At that point, I was all chips in on Wellwood Health.


“I was getting in my own way. Overcoming your own doubts is a daily struggle.”


When was the moment you thought, I might be onto something here?

The moment I knew I was onto something was the day I picked up the keys to Wellwood Health. I took a quiet walk around the place by myself and I just knew I was onto something special. I even text my husband and told him ‘babe, this is going to be something special.’ I just had that overwhelming feeling of it’s going to be ok; people are going to love it.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

My motivation comes from a few avenues however mostly from the people who walk through the door and say something along the lines of….

‘This place is truly special’
‘There is nothing else like this around’
‘Logan needs a place life this’
‘The energy of this place is just amazing’

What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered and how did you overcome it?

The biggest opposing force I encountered was myself. Do I deserve this? What will people think? Am I doing a good job? Who am I to start a business?

I was getting in my own way. Overcoming your own doubts is a daily struggle. I am lucky enough that I am surrounded by amazing people who believe in me and who believe in Wellwood. Just the last few months I have actually stopped and thought ‘shiiittt….. look at what I have created, I’ve got this, let’s keep pushing.’

What has been the best piece of advice you have ever been given and who gave it to you?

Don’t waste time trying to improve your weaknesses. Find out what you are good at and go all in.
– Gary Vaynerchuk

How do you want to make your mark/what legacy will you leave behind?

I want to make my mark by continually helping people feel, think and live better.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your Side Project/How do you overcome it?

Our biggest challenge has always been cash flow. I started the business with a business loan the size of what some people loan for an overseas holiday! I was so naive. We overcome it by obtaining three rounds of funding from various sources along with finding an accountant who not only understands our business model but is actually a part of the business and utilises its products and services. That helped us fine tune our accounting to suit our business which helped improve the cash flow.

Who are your top influences in your life, in terms of your career and helping you to focus on your Side Project?

Marie Forleo kicked me off originally, however, these days Gary Vaynerchuk influences me to always do better.

How did/do you fund your Side Project?

I funded the business by obtaining a bank loan and from there I secured private investors.

What is the most satisfying part of your Side Project?

The most satisfying part of Wellwood Health is seeing people enjoy it and see it help people change their lives for the better.

Do you have other Side Projects?

I have to stop myself otherwise, I would be creating new side projects all the time. The side project I am working on at the moment is my own personal brand ‘Live with Lucy’. Still in the seed stage and always struggling to find the time to work on it due to the fact that Wellwood Health really needs all of me at this point in time.

What advice would you give to others who are thinking of ditching the day job for their Side Project?

My piece of advice is this – Be smart and set everything up right from the start. Build your side project as much as you possibly can outside your 9-5 job. Once you have done as much as you possibly can, quit your day job and go all in! If you continue to be half in, then it will reflect in your business. It will be tough but when you are living in line with your passion and your heart, the universe will look after you.

Does your Side Project make you more productive/happy in other areas of your life?

Right now there are not too many ‘other areas’ of my life as my life is all about Wellwood, however, my business has made me a very thankful person. Every day I feel blessed. Blessed that I have the opportunity, blessed that I have the creativity, passion, strength and drive within myself, blessed that I have the support of the community and blessed that my husband supports me 100%.

With a standard work week creeping up over 100 hours a week I enjoy sleeping and being at home with my husband and dogs as much as I can, I like to listen to songs that pull strings in my soul, I like to source out and support new local businesses and events and I love drinking coffee.

How can people find you/your Side Project?

We are located half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Loganholme. You can find us on the side of the Pacific Motorway #3918. Check out our website for more information via

Lucy Willis

Owner & Creator of Wellwood Health

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 Ebony Willis

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