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Why I Don’t Regret Building a Business in My Home State

Elevation Chiropractic

April 12, 2024

I’m Jonah Knous, and I chose to move back to my hometown. There, I said it. While many of my young professional peers are traveling around the globe, taking gap years or moving to jobs in big cities, in the mountains or on the coasts, I made the decision to open a business back in my hometown. Back to that in a minute.

After graduating from Waukee High School back in 2016 until now, eight years later, I’ve spent the bulk of my time with my head in books and my heart seeking what would become my career. I spent four years at Iowa State University studying kinesiology and still connected with the bulk of my high school friends, many of whom were fellow Cyclones. Then, in pursuit of my dream of becoming a chiropractor, I visited options and decided to attend Cleveland University in Overland Park, KS. I went to the Kansas City area excited about its size, hoping for new connections, a bit of a warmer climate and with the intention of figuring out what mountains, oceans or warmer weather I’d decide on to build a business once I graduated, never intending to move back home.

I used long weekends and school breaks as a time to travel and explore where I might call my new home. I had many 13+ hour drives, red eye flights and late-night airport stays to find what felt like home. As graduation got closer and the decision-making deadline loomed, my head and my heart kept getting pulled back to Greater Des Moines (DSM).

The idea of moving to some exciting new city is enticing. Tons of my friends have done it. I have friends in Chicago, Austin, Hawaii, Denver, Florida and even sailing in the Caribbean. In fact, I’d say there is pressure to move away from your hometown to bigger and better things — mountains to scale as I sharpen my skills as a rock climber, beaches to soak in the sun and play sand volleyball in year round, an exciting restaurant and nightlife and apartments in the city with the skyline in my windows at night. That was the dream. Until it wasn’t.

Chiropractic Clinic

As I started to look at the prospect of starting a business and moving to a new city solo, the reality quickly set in. Those apartments are great, but well out of my reach financially as a new business owner with student loans looming. Those mountains and oceans are enticing, but so is spending time at the lake in the summer with my family and teaching my nephew how to fish, roast marshmallows and play laser tag. And the reality of starting a new business in a place I have zero connections and ties seemed extremely stressful and unrealistic. I didn’t know realtors, bankers, insurance providers or construction companies. I couldn’t get my head around any of it. And my heart kept drawing me back home.

Building a Business in Greater Des Moines

Let’s be real, DSM has all the things I was looking for. I have a support system of friends and family to surround me as I work through the zillions of details it takes to start a new business. I could easily find connections to what I needed to scout for a business location, get the insurance I needed, secure a loan to startup practice and secure insurance from the guy that taught my confirmation class. I found a killer apartment for a fraction of the cost of Denver, Nashville, Phoenix or Charlotte. I can get anywhere I need to go in 20 minutes. I can afford the restaurants. I can hop on the trails from anywhere. I can still play sand volleyball. And I can rock climb at the gym until my next trip to the mountains. I wasn’t going to find all that anywhere else.

I decided Ankeny was the community to start my new business. Ironically, we lived in Ankeny when I was born, so it’s a full circle decision, and I couldn’t be more excited. I can already feel the community embracing me. I’ve already attended chamber and young professional events, and I’m starting to make connections that will help grow my business and lead to professional growth and long-lasting friendships.

Dr. Jonah Knous

I’m already so much further along than I ever could have been starting a new business away from DSM. I don’t regret my decision to move back at all. In fact, it’s just the opposite. And I feel fulfilled, energized and confident. I can’t wait to embrace DSM now, as an adult and business owner. The ribbon cutting for my new business, Elevation Chiropractic, is happening in a couple weeks. I can’t believe it. I just graduated in December, I am already opening my doors and I couldn’t be more excited. I look forward to making Ankeny and Central Iowa my forever home and elevating my patients to a healthier, pain-free and fulfilling life along the way.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership celebrates the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur community and helps small businesses succeed with one-of-a-kind resources and opportunities for networking. Find out how other entrepreneurs have found success by reading their stories and attending local small business events in the region.

With the #7 Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S. and a Top Metro for Number of Economic Development Projects (among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million), Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a region where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Jonah Knous, DC

Dr. Jonah Knous chose to open Elevation Chiropractic and come back to the region he grew up in to build his career and business. Dr. Jonah holds a BS degree in kinesiology from Iowa State University and his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Cleveland University in Overland Park, KS.