Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle Wax, founder of American Happiness Project, located in Boston, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
American Happiness Project is a movement to create more joy, connection, and energy every day. We work with companies, organizations, and individuals through workshops and online programs to share practical strategies and accountability to create the reality you want in your life. We started out as a 50 state documentary that was filmed in 2019 and has expanded beyond anything I could have initially fathomed!
Tell us about yourself
Prior to founding American Happiness, I was an entrepreneur in the food industry. I had grown two companies in that space. I thought that was my "dream," but I found myself unhappy and unfulfilled in the business, so I decided to make a change. Each day, I'm motivated by the potential impact I can have on people who are looking for more happiness. I'm also motivated by the belief and the evidence that I can create my own reality by focusing and taking steps forward each day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Definitely my mindset. I've accomplished a lot of things externally in my life, but I've realized that those things don't bring in happiness - my mindset does. I work daily on creating a positive mindset that sees the opportunity and gratitude in the small moments, which really are the big moments.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Staying the course when things don't seem to be 'working.' There are many moments, especially when starting out, that you may be tempted to stop or to pivot - but often you're so close to your first customer or piece of press, or hitting the sales you want. There is so much happening that you can't necessarily 'see.' It's important to keep being consistent and moving forward even if it doesn't appear like it's 'working.' I like to look for the progress I'm making instead of the results. Focusing on what's going right instead of focusing on what isn't working currently.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Listen to yourself. When I was starting out and didn't have as much confidence, I listened to a lot of outside people that had never built a business or built the type of business I wanted to have. This often distracted me or put me on a path that wasn't the best. A great question to ask is, "Is the person giving me advice living the type of life I want? If not, why am I listening?"
- Work on your mindset and listen to positive content daily. There will always be someone who is doing more or more 'successful' than you - it's important for you to train your brain to determine your own level of success and accomplishment instead of comparing yourself to other people around you.
- Take time to rest when you need it. Decide how you want to feel each day, and strive to take action and time to achieve those emotions. If you need a day, or a week, or an hour to simply chill out - that could be the most 'productive' thing you can do for your business and progress.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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