In an exclusive interview with Health Coach Institute, Jennifer Bonnichsen, a two-time breast cancer survivor and well-being coach shared her extraordinary journey from adversity to triumph. Jennifer’s story of resilience, strength, and unwavering belief underscores the transformative power of overcoming life’s challenges.

Channeling a Life Change into Life Coaching

A glance into Jennifer’s life before her transition to a career as a life coach reveals a woman deeply rooted in the printing industry, having dedicated 25 years to her career. However, adversity struck when she lost her job in printing just two months before deciding to enroll in the Health Coach Institute. Undeterred by the setback, Jennifer emerged as a force, driven by her desire to help others navigate life’s challenges.

Jennifer’s journey into life coaching began organically, spurred by a conversation with a friend who suggested that her life experiences and resilience could be channeled into a meaningful coaching career. Intrigued by the idea, Jennifer embarked on a thorough exploration of coaching programs and ultimately chose the Health Coach Institute for its holistic approach that integrated health and life coaching seamlessly.

In her 2024 conversation with Health Coach Institute, Jennifer shared intimate details about her transition to becoming a life coach, revealing, “I knew I really would like to do that. It’s just very fulfilling for me to help people.” This sentiment echoes through her entire journey, emphasizing her commitment to turning personal pain into purpose, passion, and perspective.

Clients, Community, and Commitment

Jennifer’s journey through the Health Coach Institute was a dynamic process that involved developing programs, taking on practice clients, and creating a vibrant community through the “Joyful Balance Circle” Facebook group she created. As she reflects on the growth of the group, now boasting 820 members, Jennifer acknowledges the significance of creating a supportive network for individuals seeking balance and well-being.

Jennifer describes her approach to coaching as a “striver to achieve goals,” emphasizing her relentless pursuit of objectives. Her dedication to personal growth and self-improvement is evident in the goals she set for herself, including running a half marathon and biking 100 miles, achievements that required an unwavering level of commitment and determination. This drive and personal commitment to growth is defined in her personal mantra, ‘Goals Stronger Than Excuses.’

Navigating Change and Pursuing a Passion to Help Others

Despite her successes, Jennifer is candid about the challenges of building a coaching practice. She shared, “The grind is real,” acknowledging the difficulty in attracting clients and the need for persistence. She also highlighted the importance of patience, particularly during what she referred to as the “slow” period between Thanksgiving and January.

Jennifer’s authenticity shines through as she navigates the delicate balance between pursuing her passion for coaching and the practicalities of financial stability. She shared insights into her recent decision to shift back to a full-time job due to her husband’s job loss. This move, while requiring adjustments to her coaching schedule, serves as a testament to her adaptability and realistic approach to life’s uncertainties.

In her own words, Jennifer captures the essence of her coaching philosophy: “I’m a collector of people.” This sentiment resonates through her initiatives, from book clubs and in-person retreats to the development of unique group programs. Her commitment to fostering connection and community underscores her belief that well-being is intrinsically linked to the support we receive from others.

Jennifer’s story is not just about overcoming personal obstacles; it’s about sharing the lessons learned along the way. As she reflects on her life to date, she shares, “With each obstacle that’s thrown at me, I just get a little stronger and a little stronger.” Her story serves as one of hope for those facing adversity, proving that with resilience and a passion for helping others, challenges can be transformed into opportunities for growth.


Health Coach Institute provides aspiring Health and Life Coaches with the tools, training, and support to make a great living transforming lives.